<SiteLock

Amnesty International: Scheduled Tribes Panel Order on Unlawful Land Transfers is Welcome

 

Amnesty International India

 Statement released by Amnesty International India

Bangalore
11 May 2017

A recent order by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to the District Magistrate in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh directing action in cases of unlawful transfer of Adivasi land is a positive move, said Amnesty International India today.

On 9 May, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) directed action to be taken under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act – a special law to protect the rights of Dalit and Adivasi people – in cases where Adivasi land was transferred to other people through forgery. The order follows recent allegations that over 300 acres (121 hectares) of Adivasi land had been unlawfully transferred to non-Adivasis in Kunkuni village, Raigarh between 2009 and 2015. A farmer named Jailal Rathiya who had filed a petition in the Chhattisgarh High Court in relation to the transfer was found dead in March 2017.

"The dispossession of Adivasi land without their free, prior and informed consent is widespread in Chhattisgarh. The NCST's recognition that this amounts to a crime against Adivasi communities is a welcome development," said Karthik Navayan, Programmes Manager, Business and Human rights at Amnesty International India.

"Government authorities must Protect Adivasi rights and bring to book those who violate the law."

Several members of local communities in villages in Raigarh have told Amnesty International India that they had been forced into selling their land through threats, intimidation, coercion and misinformation.

The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, (PoA Act) criminalizes the wrongful dispossession or interference with the lands of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. In January 2016, Parliament passed an amendment to the Act, which, among other things, inserted an explainer stating that the word "wrongfully" included dispossession or interference done "against the person's will", "without the person's consent", or "with the person's consent where such consent has been obtained by putting the person, or any other person in whom person is interested, in fear of death or hurt".

In June 2016, the Kerala police registered a First Information Report under the PoA Act against officials of a Coca-Cola subsidiary for alleged pollution and groundwater exploitation.

The NCST order also highlights the intimidation and threats faced by human rights activists. An independent and impartial investigation must be conducted by authorities into the death of Jailal Rathiya. The NSCT also directed authorities to ensure that unlawfully transferred land to return to its original owners.

Under international human rights law and standards, states have an obligation to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consent on decisions that affect them. This right is recognized in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and also by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which India is a state party.

Indian laws such as the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act also require authorities to consult, and in some cases seek the consent of, Adivasi communities before acquiring or using land. However laws such as the Coal Bearing Act Areas Act ignore this right, undermining communities' security of tenure.

~~~

For more information, please contact,

Smriti Singh
+919818890199
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Other Related Articles

The OBC case of ‘House Negro’ and ‘Field Negro’
Sunday, 11 April 2021
  Anand Kshirsagar There was a time in the American antebellum South like Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, and South Carolina where economic, social, political, cultural, and religious... Read More...
Moral Right to Labour
Wednesday, 07 April 2021
Pralay Nagrale The recent mobilization of the Valmiki community all over India was important in fighting for justice for the 19 year old girl of Bulgaddhi village of district Hathras, because till... Read More...
Ram Van Gaman Path: Who are you to decide our vision for development?
Monday, 05 April 2021
Bodhi Ramteke What could be the priorities for any poorest state, where literacy rate is low, malnutrition level is high, having no proper educational & health infrastructure and other endless... Read More...
Myth of Brahmin Merit: Refutation of Superiority
Sunday, 21 March 2021
  Pranav Jeevan P We have been hearing arguments that try to justify the superiority and monopoly of Brahmins and savarnas in the fields of education and governance based on genetics. Their... Read More...
Is Government against Tribal development?
Monday, 15 March 2021
  Bodhi Ramteke In the caste based social system of the country, tribals are also a big exploited class. In 70 years of independence, their constitutional needs do not seems to have been met. I... Read More...

Recent Popular Articles

The Ruling Caste's changing priorities and the Farmer Unrest
Tuesday, 08 December 2020
  Anshul Kumar “History shows that the Brahmin has always had other classes as his allies to whom he was ready to accord the status of a governing class provided they were prepared to work... Read More...
How to write anti-caste solidarity texts
Monday, 02 November 2020
Dr. Murali Shanmugavelan Ensure that “Dalit” appears as a prefix whenever the victim is mentioned. The phrase “Dalit victim” helps your readers understand the difference between Dalits and... Read More...
How to look 'Dalit' in the Savarna imagination
Wednesday, 04 November 2020
  Bobby Kunhu  When I first watched the classic 1972 Luis Bunuel comedy, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeouise, in 1994 or 95, I could not have imagined that it was possible to adapt the... Read More...
So you want to ally with the Dalit Rights Movement?
Tuesday, 20 October 2020
  Shivani Waldekar On 25th May 2020, George Floyd, an unarmed Black man was murdered in police custody in Minneapolis, USA. A video showing a white police officer kneeling on his neck for almost... Read More...
The Karnataka anti-cow slaughter bill is against the poor
Tuesday, 15 December 2020
Dr. Sylvia Karpagam "If India's politicians had any connect with land and farming, they would understand the organic relationship farmers have with livestock, milk, manure and killing of cows. It is... Read More...