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!
- Recognise all
genuine forest dependent people and exclude contractors, traders, and
- Stop the
militarisation and seizure of our lands
- Recognise our
rights to collect and transport minor forest produce
- Halt arbitrary
resettlement in the name of wildlife conservation
- Make the
recognition of rights legally clear â€“ our rights should not be
away by legal manipulation
- Notify the
Forest Rights Act and halt evictions of forest communities immediately
Jangalvasiyon Ko Swaraj Do!
- Empower our
communities to defend and protect the forests against mafias, the
government and companies
- Ensure the
authority and effectiveness of the real gram sabhas of our communities
in determining rights
- Bring all
adivasi areas under the Vth Schedule of the Constitution and remove
hurdles in implementing the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas)
Act, 1996, which gives us the power to safeguard our resources.
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 â€“ Tamilnadu, Bharat Jan Andolan
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.
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.
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
More than 2,000 people courted arrest in Pratapgarh district.
4,000 people marched and courted arrest in Bhubaneshwar.
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
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.
Rallies will take place across the State in October, leading up to a
mass Jan Adalat on forest rights in mid-November in Raipur.