Bindukhatta Residents in Uttarakhand Demand Revenue Village Status, Ownership of Land Rights

Reported by

Elizabeth ManiLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

April 5, 2021

Location of Conflict

Bindukhatta

Nainital

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Land Use

Individual ownership of land over community ownership

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

100000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

2400

ha

Starting Year

1985

State

Uttarakhand

Sector

Land Use

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 (MarxistLeninist) announced a sitin 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

Revenue status for their village

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

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, Constitutional Law

Legislations/Policies Involved

  1. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006

    Section 3(h) [This section lays down the right of forest dwellers to conversion of forest villages into revenue villages]

  2. Ministry of Tribal Affairs Guidelines dated July 12, 2012

    Clause iii(d) [This section prescribes the state governments to take up conversion of forest villages into revenue villages urgently in a time-bound manner]

  3. The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972

    Chapter IV [Under this chapter, the state is empowered to notify sanctuaries and other protected areas]

  4. The Constitution of India, 1950

    Seventh Schedule, List - II, Entry 17B [This empowers the state to legislate on the protection of animals and birds]

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-implementation/violation of the FRA

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

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Public campaign, Protests/marches

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?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

All India Kisan Mahasabha, Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist)

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Elizabeth Mani

Reviewed By

Elizabeth Mani

Updated By

Elizabeth Mani

Edited By

Elizabeth ManiLand Conflict Watch
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