Adivasis continue to fight for land rights in Wayanad, 15 years after the Muthanga agitation

Reported by

Dr. K.H. Amitha Bachan

Published on

January 29, 2017

January 29, 2017

Updated on

January 29, 2017

Location of Conflict

Valavayal

Wayanad

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Protected Areas

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

4718

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

7932

ha

Starting Year

2002

State

Kerala

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

In 1985, a part of the Nilgiri Reserve in Kerala's Wayanad was declared as the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary . There are 2,612 households, belonging to the Kattunaikar and Mullu Kurumba community, who live in the area now diverted for the sanctuary. Most of these families have certificates called Kaivasa Rekha proving possession of forestland given to them by the government in 1940s50s. The Kerala forest department made a proposal in 2002 to relocate 950 tribal families from the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary as they wanted to recover about 400 ha of land in the sanctuary. These tribal families have been struggling to claim the forest land since decades. In 2003, a significant struggle took place in the Muthanga Forest region, where thousands of tribal families gathered to occupy land. The state police brutally suppressed the agitation, killing one and injuring several others. "It was following this agitation that the concept of Bhoomi Samaram (Protesting for land) became significant", said CK Janu, a female activist from the community, in a news report. After the implementation of the FRA in 2006, nothing has changed much. A compensation of INR 1 lakh for one acre of land was decided to be given to each family for relocation. Between 2008 and 2013, a total 185 tribal families were relocated from the sanctuary with this compensation. Later the government revised the compensation scheme offering INR 10 lakh to each family for relocation. On June 27, 2013, 40 families from the Kottamkara hamlet were relocated under this scheme However, the families alleged that only 24 families got INR 10 lakh compensation. Some stated that the forest department had not been considering adult sons as separate families eligible for compensation. Some of the relocated families came back to the sanctuary.In September 2017, the Kerala Government sought INR 100 crore for the relocation of families in protected areas. In 2018, the relocation was delayed. However, most of the families in the sanctuary have been demanding recognition of their rights over forestland under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 and have refused to leave the land. As of January 2020, the resistance is still going on with 200 families still living inside the Sanctuary. The tribal communities are still demanding forest rights titles.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand for promised land

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

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Land Acquisition Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3: Rights over the forest land (rights to hold and live, community rights, access to forest produce); Section 4(1)(a): Vesting forest rights with the residing Scheduled Tribes; Section 4(2)(d) and 4(2)(f): Mentions that the forest rights can be modified if compensation is offered, and that people can be resettled only after facilities and land allocation as per the compensation package is completed
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 41: Contains special provisions for Scheduled Tribes [41(3) Prior consent of Grab Sabha; 41(6) At least 1/3rd compensation needs to be paid as first installment, and rest can be paid after taking possession]
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  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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:

No items found.

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Physical attack

Killing

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

On February 19, 2003, the police evicted hundreds of Adivasis who had occupied the muthanga forest in Wayanad district to protest against the delay in the government's distribution of cultivable land that it had promised to Landless Adivasis. In the clash that followed, an adivasi protestor, Jogi, died and hundreds injured. The adivasis, however, maintain that 16 of their community members were shot that dead.

Date of Violation

February 19, 2003

Location of Violation

Muthanga Forest, Wayanad

Nature of Protest

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Protests/marches

Land occupation

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Waynad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala Forest Department, Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change

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:

Wayanad Prakruthy Samrakshana Samithy

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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