Bindukhatta, a village in Nainital district, was originally designated as a forest village. With this status, the residents got community rights over land carved out of the reserved forest. These villages were set up by the British after clearing forest land to promote cattle rearing and animal husbandry. However, since 1985, the residents have been demanding a 'revenue village' status for Bindukhatta. A revenue village is a small administrative unit with a definite surveyed boundary, and residents enjoy individual land ownership rights. Currently, they do not have any individual land ownership or registry papers. The state government had promised land rights to Bindukhatta residents and revenue village status in 2014, but no official order was given. Later, Bindukhatta was also decided to be a made a Nagar Palika, but the government withdrew the decision after protests from the local people. The state government had proposed an elephant corridor in 2018 to protect elephants in Bindukhatta forest. The residents fear that if the corridor is designated, at least one lakh people will be evacuated, and their houses and farms will be destroyed, although there has been no official confirmation of the evacuation. Following this, the residents, along with All India Kisan Mahasabha, have organised a campaign against the decision to create an elephant corridor, disregarding their demand for a revenue village. They allege that instead of initiating the process, the state is complicating issues. In November 2019, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) announced a sit-in demonstration demanding revenue status in Lalkuan tehsil of Nainital. However, there was no response from local authorities. In December 2020, the youths of the village sent a memorandum to the state governor after a demonstration at Lalkuan demanding Bindukhatta to be made a revenue village. They also warned that if no action is taken, the local people will be forced to agitate.
Demand/Contention of the Affected Community
Demand for legal recognition of land rights
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Out of Court
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Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Public campaign, Protests/marches
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