No Action on Forest Rights Claims

29 January 2012, Lanjigadh

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On 29 January the Jansatyagrah Samvad Yatra halted at Jaggannathpur where a public hearing had been organised by ‘Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti’ and attended by a large number of people from the Lanjigadh region. Shri Kumti Majhi of the Samiti said that almost 60 villages of the region, where largely people belonging to the Dogaria, Khutia and Majhi tribes live, fall in the industrial and mining zone. At the same time more than 10,000 people belonging to the primitive tribe Dongaria Kandh live in 112 villages spread across the Niyamgiri mountain ranges but their settlement has not been done in the land occupied and cultivated by them. Instead a large segment of their land has been marked for Vedanta Mining Company. He said that claims made by the communities for residential and cultivated land in the region have not been accepted by the administration. Shri Sapi Manjhi of village Bid said that 14 tribal families had applied for residential land under the ‘Mo Jami More Dih’ scheme but their applications have not been accepted till date. Bir Singh Manjhi of village Tudiguda said that claims of 8 tribal families were pending at the sambhag level. Similarly no action has been taken on the claims of families living in Kanugoda, Dhamaguda, Kolballi and Kendu rdih villages. Vimal Manjhi of Kendurdih village said that inspite of the forest rights act tribals who have been cultivating land for generations are not being given ownership rights while mining companies are not onlybeing given thousands of hectares of land without any hinderance the people who live in those lands are being evicted unceremoniously

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