Tribal Communities in Jharkhand Protest against Land Bank in Netarhat Firing Range

Reported by

Alok

Published on

April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017

Updated on

April 24, 2017

Location of Conflict

Mahautar

Latehar

Gumla

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Landbank

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

275000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

147100

ha

Starting Year

1993

State

Jharkhand

Sector

Land Use

For nearly three decades, tribal communities have been agitating against the proposed Netarhat Firing Range in Gulma and Lathehar districts in Jharkhand. When the government proposed to create a land bank of nearly 80 acres in the range to attract investors, irate tribespeople called for a _bandh _on March 29, 2017, to boycott then Chief Minister Raghubar Das' public event at Mahautar in Latehar district. Public support to the _bandh _led to the cancellation of the chief minister's visit. Subdivisional officer of Mahautar, Om Prakash, informed the media that the demands of the people had been forwarded to the chief minister's office and also to the chief secretary. Dayamani Barla, a frontal tribal leader, told LCW that land bank of nearly 8090 acres for the firing range was created by the government to invite investors to the state and to displace the tribal communities. "The government did not have the courage to displace tribals in 2000 when land acquisition for the firing range had begun as our protest forced the government to take a backstep. So the government is now trying to enter the Netarhat firing range by giving land to industrialists, Barla said. The proposed firing range, spread across 245 villages, threatens to displace 2.75 lakh tribespeople. The issue was debated in the Rajya Sabha in 2007 when MP Mabel Rebello sought the government's stand on how it planned to rehabilitate the displaced families. Gladson Dung Dung, another tribal activist of Pilot Project Netarhat Field Firing Range Virodhi Jan Sangharsh Samiti, told LCW that nearly 90 per cent of the land under the land bank falls under Schedule V and hence cannot be purchased or transferred. "Moreover, the land in question belongs to various Gram Sabhas. The government has no right to put this land under the land bank," he added. On March 2324, 2021, thousands of tribespeople participated in an annual congregation in Latehar demanding cancellation of the project. It is to be noted, however, that practice in the firing range and land acquisition were stopped in 1994 after massive public protests. When asked about the current status of the project, Pramod Kumar Gupta, deputy commissioner of Latehar, told LCW it was the same as it was 10 years ago. "Nothing much has changed. However, most of the land falls in Gumla district, so I cannot say much," he added. Gumla DC Shravan Sai did not respond to LCW's phone calls.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for rehabilitation

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Cancellation of the project

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

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, Constitutional Law, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3(a)[Right to live on and hold forestland]; Section 4(2) [Free informed consent of Gram Sabha is essential before any plan is approved]
Land Acquisition Act, 1894
Section 5A [Hearing of objections against land acquisition]; Section 11 [Lapse of acquisition proceedings if award of compensation is not prepared within two years from the date of declaration]
Manoeuvres, Field Firing and Artillery Practice Act, 1938
Section 9(1) [Power of state government to notify any area for carrying out field firing and artillery practice]
Constitution of India, 1950
Fifth Schedule, Paragraph 5(2) [Transfer of tribal land]
Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4(m)(iii) [Empowerment of Gram Sabha to prevent alienation of tribal land]
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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:

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

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:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Protests/marches

Strikes

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Defence

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:

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Image Credit:  

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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