In September 2018, the High Court of Uttarakhand ordered the state government to evict the residents of Baggha, a village in Udham Singh Nagar district, living on forestland for more than 40 years. Baggha village was settled in 1975 on the basis of Tongia system in compliance with Government Order No. 3128/20 of May 1975 as issued by the Uttar Pradesh government. In 1984, Baggha was included in the Sarpura panchayat and in 2015, the village was conferred the status of a model village. According to the court, the village falls in the reserve forest area, says a media report. The order was issued following a public interest litigation by Hoshiyar Chand, a resident of Sarpura village. In 2015, political leader Bhagat Singh Koshyari adopted Sarpura-Baggha as a model village. The two villages share their border. During his four-year tenure as a member of parliament, Koshyari donated INR 70 lakh for development work in the two villages. The fund was utilised to create infrastructure, such as roads, water pipelines, electricity poles and a government college. Chand demanded that the budget allocation of Sarpura and Baggha should be separated to facilitate the development of Sarpura, where half the population is Scheduled Caste. Principal Conservator of Forests Jai Raj told LCW that as per official data, around 9,500 hectares of forestland in Uttarakhand have been encroached in different ways. In many cases, the settlements were made by the government, and people have been living there for decades. "The government cannot suddenly evict them because of some court order," he said. According to a media report, at least 500 families who have been living on the land will be forcibly evicted. According to journalist Sumedha Pal, in November 2019, the high court pulled up the government for not taking any action. Since 2019, the residents of Baggha village have been demanding the status of revenue village. Once recognised, the people will be able to obtain land rights or occupancy certificates. The demand for revenue village was also raised in the state Assembly in August 2020. Local MLA Pushkar Singh Dhami met the forest secretary in Dehradun and held detailed talks about it.
Demand/Contention of the Affected Community
Demand for legal recognition of land rights, Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Baggha Bachao Sangharsh Samiti
Legislations Involved in the Conflict:
Forest Rights Act of 2006
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Non-implementation / violation of the FRA
Name(s) of Court(s)
High Court of Uttarakhand
WPPIL No. 106/2015
Nature of Protest
Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Reported Details of the Violation:
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?