24 Villages in Uttarakhand's Ramnagar Demand Revenue Village Status, Threaten Election Boycott

Reported by

Tarun Joshi

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 20, 2016

September 20, 2016

Updated on

September 20, 2016

Location of Conflict

Ramnagar

Nainital

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Forest Administration (Other than Protected Areas)

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

18000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2008

State

Uttarakhand

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

The residents of Ramnagar village depended on the forests of Chorgalia, Dolly Range, Tunikhal, Jolasal, Khatima, Ramnagar and Tanakpur for grazing purposes as the land was easily accessible. Around 18,000 people from 24 villages, therefore, settled in the Ramnagar area in what later came to be known as "forest villages" or "van grams". Having lived in the forest villages since the colonial times, the people had started demanding a revenue village status for the 24 villages so that they could be granted land rights. According to the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, forest villages are settlements that have been established inside the forests by the forest department of any state government for forestry operations or that were converted into forest villages through the forest reservation process and includes forest settlement villages. As a forest village, people enjoy community rights over land carved out of a reserved forest, but the government may cancel such rights. Unlike a forest village, a revenue village is considered a small administrative unit with a definite surveyed boundary, and residents enjoy individual land ownership rights. The villagers in Ramnagar allege lack of infrastructure and facilities, such as roads, electricity and running water. Since they do not have the right to own agricultural land, they claim that they cannot build houses and apply for electricity or water connections in their name. They also cannot become beneficiaries of government schemes. A huge rally was organised in Haldwani in 2011 demanding the revenue village status, after which the then chief minister assured them that their demands would be fulfilled. But nothing happened. During the 2012 election, Amrita Rawat, Congress MLA from Ramnagar, promised the villagers that she would get all the forest villages in Ramnagar constituency the status of revenue villages under the Forest Rights Act, 2006. But she could not keep her word. In 2015, hundreds of villagers demonstrated asserting their demand. They warned that if concrete action was not taken within three months, they would boycott the Assembly election while continuing to agitate. They also sent a memorandum to the president and chief minister through the tehsildar. In 2017, forest officials reached Tumariya, one of the 24 villages, with a bulldozer to raze the houses as they were considered as "encroachments" on the land by the forest department. This happened while the forest rights claims of the villagers were still pending. In 2019, similarly, the villagers threatened to boycott the general election if their demands were not met. In September 2020, the Forest Development Committee sent a memorandum to Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat to convert the 24 forest villages into revenue villages. The committee claimed that people have been living in these villages since 1962. The claims are being processed.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

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Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Protests/marches

Boycott of official procedures/non-participation in official processes

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Forest department

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

dev bhumi bayapar mandal,UKPP, पम्पापुरी लोक कल्याण समिति

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

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