CEC, AIKMS strongly condemns the ongoing Forest Department violence against Adivasis in several parts of the country

Four Adivasis injured in firing by forest eviction force, fields destroyed in MP. Thousands being hounded all over the country.

On July 9, at  around 9-10 am forest officials accompanied by police and revenue officials destroyed newly planted fields of village Siwal, District Burhanpur, MP. These adivasis had submitted proofs of their residence dating from 1988-89. Despite this the force destroyed five fields planted with makka and a traditional rice variety. When villagers protested in large numbers, they were fired upon by pellet guns. Despite this the adivasis refused to disperse and the protest forced them to withdraw.

The four injured adivasis have pellet wounds in their necks, chest, thighs and abdomen. They are Gokharsing s/o Gatla (Gatya) Badole, Bhuralal s/o Mangtya Achchale, Rakesh s/o Rama Achchale and Vakil s/o Bhikla.

After the firing, a massive protest was held at PS Nepanagar where the adivasi protest finally led to an  FIR being registered. But a case of ‘rioting and obstruction of public servants’ has also been registered against villagers.

AIKMS demands that the case against the villagers in Nepanagar be withdrawn, action be taken against the officials and all claims of Adivasis be settled through proper implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 and PESA.

In Telangana, Maharashtra, MP and other states, the govt has been asked by the Supreme Court to re-examine all rejected and pending FRA claims. A report of this was to be submitted till yesterday. Next hearing is on July 24. However these govts led by BJP and Congress have launched a virtual war against the Adivasis. Hundreds of police go along with forest officials to destroy the crops of the poor and to forcefully dig trenches and plant trees for commercial use. Thousands of Adivasis have been arrested in Telangana, including cases under Preventive Detention Act.

AIKMS has launched a nation wide struggle against Forced Eviction of Tribals and strict implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 and the Panchayat Extenstion to Scheduled Areas, PESA Act.

(Dr. Ashish Mital)

General Secretary