PRESS STATEMENT

Tens of Thousands of Tribals and Forest Dwellers Protest, Court Arrest Across India


Today, October 2nd , Gandhi Jayanthi, mass organisations of tribals and forest dwellers marched and courted arrest across the country.   Protests will be continuing in the coming weeks.   The central demand is:
 

No More Attacks on Our People, Destruction of Our Homelands and Sabotage of Our Rights!


The protesters oppose the moves to sabotage the Forest Rights Act by undermining the Rules and engaging in sabotage of rights through sham efforts at tiger conservation. The protesters also condemn the repeated moves of the government to use police forces and violence to seize the resources of tribals and forest dwellers, while sabotaging all laws that provide for democratic control over forests and resources.

Today, people joined protests across Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and elsewhere (see next page for details).  Tens of thousands faced arrest and detention by police.   In the following weeks, protests will continue in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh and Tamil Nadu.  The groups made the following demands:

Jangal Ko Azaadi Do!



Jangalvasiyon Ko Swaraj Do!


 
On behalf of the Convening Collective

 

Bharat Jan Andolan, National Front for Tribal Self Rule, Shoshit Jan Andolan (Maharashtra), Adivasi Mahasabha (Gujarat), Adivasi Jangal Janjeevan Andolan (Dadra &Nagar Haveli), Jangal Jameen Jan Andolan (Rajasthan),   Madhya Pradesh Van Adhikar Abhiyan (Madhya Pradesh), Jan Shakti Sanghatan (Chattisgarh), Peoples Alliance for Livelihood Rights (Chattisgarh), Chattisgarh Mukti Morcha, Orissa Jan Sangharsh Morcha, Campaign for Survival & Dignity (Orissa), Orissa Adivasi Manch, Orissa Jan Adhikar Morcha, Adivasi Aikya Vedike (Andhra Pradesh), Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vrithidharula Union, Campaign for Survival and Dignity – Tamilnadu, Bharat Jan Andolan (Jharkhand).

STATE-WISE PROTESTS

 

Maharashtra

10,000 people marched to the Deputy Collector's Office and courted arrest at the taluka headquarters of Jawhar (Thane District).   All were arrested.  On the 4th, a similar jail bharo will take place in Roha, Raigad District.

Jharkhand

Approximately 4,000 people courted arrest in the district headquarters of Latehar, Ranchi, Gumla and Palamau districts.   All those who demonstrated in Latehar, Ranchi and Gumla were arrested.

Gujarat

Mass public meetings took place in Narmada, Valsad, Dahod and Sabarkantha districts.  More meetings will take place tomorrow.   A larger protest will be held near the end of this month.

Rajasthan

More than 2,000 people courted arrest in Pratapgarh district.

Orissa

4,000 people marched and courted arrest in Bhubaneshwar.

Tamil Nadu

Mass public meetings were held in 61 villages in Nilgiris District and in ten villages in Kanyakumari District.   Public rallies were also held in Nilgiris District, Tirunelveli District and Krishnagiri District. 

Madhya Pradesh

Mass rallies will be held in Burhanpur District tomorrow, the 3rd; in Satna on the 4th; and in Sivni, Betul, Mandla, Chindwada and Jabalpur districts on the 7 th.   A mass jail bharo will take place in Bhopal on November 15th. 

Chhatisgarh

Rallies will take place across the State in October, leading up to a mass Jan Adalat on forest rights in mid-November in Raipur.