Legal Data by
December 6, 2016
December 6, 2016
December 6, 2016
Hundreds of Maldharis (traditional inhabitants of Gir forest) in Gujarat, who were relocated and resettled by the government's resettlement scheme between 1972 and 1986 have been returning to the forest over the last two decades. When they were relocated, they were given agricultural lands, pucca houses, loans and other facilities as compensation. However, over 2,000 of them have returned to the Gir National Park since, and most have them have sold the lands and houses given to them by the government. The Maldharis claim that living away from the forests affected their lives and livelihoods as they had to travel long distances to graze their livestock and access minor forest produce. The forest department, so far, has ordered a survey to ascertain how many Maldharis have returned and are currently residing inside the park. The government believes that the Maldharis and their livestock have had a negative impact on the lion habitat due to the overuse of both forest produce and fodder. However, studies have found that the Maldhari livestock is a major food source for the lions and the community, thus, is important for the conservation of the lion population in the national park. The forest department, however, has been pressuring the Maldharis to leave the fringe areas of the park where they are settled now. The problem came to light in a meeting with the chief minister, which was held to resolve issues concerning the people living around the Gir forest. One of the public demands was to allow the Maldharis to construct pucca houses inside the Gir national park. According to an estimate, around 4,100 Maldharis are currently residing within the park, including the returnees. Interestingly, the forest department, which started issuing identity cards for the Maldhari population living within the protected area in the mid2010s, has issued more than 5,500 so far, according to official forest department documents. Although the Maldharis do not have a specific demand and have not started any kind of organised protest, minor scuffles break out on and off between the community and the forest department.
Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources
Refusal to permanently part with land
Forest, Non-Forest (Grazing Land)
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
Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Other
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:
Lack of legal protection over land rights
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)
Main Reasoning/Decision of court
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Whether criminal law was used against protestors:
Reported Details of the Violation:
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Nature of Protest
Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:
Gujarat 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: