Maharashtra CM moved of against forest official destruction of 70 Kolam Tribal Houses
Nagpur-11th May, 2012
Maharashtra Chief minister has taken serious note of tragic unconstitutional very serious incident under Forest officials of Central Chanda subdivision destroyed 70 houses of Kolam tribals in Piparguda and Kolamguda villages on Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh border in Rajura tehsil on Sunday. It is being alleged that they have encroached forest land in compartment No. 126 of Vihirgaon range coming under Central Chanda forest subdivision. These tribals walked a distance of 55km in two days to reach Chandrapur seeking justice for destruction of their houses back in their villages.
Tribal activist group disturbed with media report wrote to CM and asked him to look into matter and take stern action against erring officer who are responsible for freezing the fundamental rights of Kolam Tribals who are rare primitive Tribes dying due starvation and malnourishment ,informed Kishor Tiwari, president of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), Tribal advocacy group.
“This area is part Dandakarayna Forest of Mahabharat and Kolam are tribes who are living in these forest till then and being forced to leave these forest and chandrapur incident is piece of iceberg much atrocities are done regularly and complete apathy of Govt. is brought Kolam Tribals existence in danger ,we will take up this to higher with NHRC ,ST-SC commission if administration failed to take long term integrated plan save Kolam tribe community ,Tiwari added.
Here are the details of complaint
From: Chief Minister office <CM@maharashtra.gov.in>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 04:09:21 +0000
To: Adv Vinod Tiwari<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: HOW SUCH DESTRUCTION OF SHELTERS/HUTS OF KOLAM PREMITIV TRIBALs CAN TAKE PLACE,WHEN Hon'ble SC HAS ALREADY HELD RIGHT TO LIFE OF TRIBAL CANNT BE INFRINGED..? : ARE NOT CHANDRAPUR FOREST OFFICIALs CRUSHING HUMAN RIGHTs and FORCING TRIBAL...
QuoteKolam tribals walk 55km to get back their homes
CHANDRAPUR: Forest officials were in a fix on Tuesday after around 70 Kolam tribals, mostly women and children, stormed into chief conservator of forest's (CCF) office and sat at the gate seeking shelter and food. These tribals walked a distance of 55km in two days to reach Chandrapur seeking justice for destruction of their houses back in their villages.
Forest officials of Central Chanda subdivision destroyed 30 houses of Kolam tribals in Piparguda and Kolamguda villages on Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh border in Rajura tehsil on Sunday. It is being alleged that they have encroached forest land in compartment No. 126 of Vihirgaon range coming under Central Chanda forest subdivision.
Earlier these tribals lived at Dongargaon irrigation project site. As their lands were taken for the reservoir, they were removed. As their settlement was on encroached land no compensation was paid to them. The Kolams then moved to forest land near Kostala village on the state border. But, this time forest department razed their houses.
A total of 19 families from Piparguda and 11 families from Kolamguda were left shelterless after demolition drive carried out jointly by forest and police department. Social organization Shramik Elgar took up the issue and began a long march to Chandrapur. Forest officials however, had deployed huge police posse equipped with riot control squad at CCF office to thwart any untoward situation.
After the protesters reached CCF office, they tried to barge into the premises but cops thwarted their efforts. The tribal women who had toddlers were forced to sit outside the gate. Protesters led by Shramik Elgar's president Paromita Goswami demanded immediate meeting with CCF BSK Reddy, but he took over an hour to step out and talk to the tribals.
Reddy held talks with Goswami across the locked iron gate. Goswami apprised him of their woes and demanded tribals' land back with compensation against the damage. "Forest officers have committed most inhuman act by razing the houses of destitute tribals and leaving them shelterless in blazing summer heat. They have been living for more than 10 years on the same place and the law entitles them to have right over encroached land. Such blatant use of power and senseless atrocities on tribals has fed Naxalism in the area ," she charged.
Tribals held said that they would not budge from CCF office gate at any cost. "Our homes have been destroyed. We have no bread to eat and no other place to go. We will stay here at forest office and now it is responsibility of forest department to arrange for our food and shelter," said tribal women.
Forest officers offered no help to resolve the problem even as social workers show them voter identity cards proving their residence in area for more than 10 years and collector's orders entitling some of the tribals of the land under Forest Right Act.
Speaking to TOI, Reddy said, "Tribals have claimed that their settlement on encroached forest land is more than 10 years old, however our records show otherwise. Their claims will be verified and decision will be taken as per the law."
This all happened on the settled position of Laws that the poor Tribal s Can't be Evicted in a manner forest officials did in Chandrapur...!