Tribals in West Bengal's Jaldapara National Park Await Recognition of Community Rights

Reported by

Eleonora FanariLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

December 3, 2019

Location of Conflict




Reason or Cause of Conflict

Protected Areas



People Affected by Conflict


Land Area Affected (in Hectares)



West Bengal


Conservation and Forestry

At the Jaldapara National Park in West Bengal, 12 villages of about 2,150 households have been fighting since 2009 for the recognition of their community rights inside the protected area. Till date, not a single community forest rights claim has been recognised, with the claims pending at the subdivisional committee level. In January 2010, more than 500 forest dwellers organised themselves to reclaim their rights under the Forest Right Act (FRA) and took charge of forest land outside the Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary. The police arrested and harassed activists fighting on behalf of the tribal communities. In March/April 2013, the residents of North Khairbari, a village of 95 households, successfully resisted an attempt by the forest department to fell trees, braving threats and harassment by the police, local political leaders and the forest department. In January 2014, hundreds of North Khairbari Village Assembly members came together in protest, supported by the Uttar Banga BanJan Shramajivi Manch. A case was registered against five of the members. In January 2017, the forest department sought the permission of the Village Assembly for felling of trees. They strategically allowed the department to cut down 450 trees spread over 15 hectares of land by submitting a resolution with their demands, in which they asked the state to recognise their forest rights and allow them to manage their forests. On May 22, 2019, Land Conflict Watch spoke to Lal Singh Bujhel, a member of the Uttar Banga BanJan Shramajivi Manch, who said that the Village Assembly was still awaiting a response from the forest department.

Region Classification

Type of Land


Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):


Starting Year


Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

State Forest Department

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Uttar Banga Van-Jan Shramajivi Manch

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

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