Tribals demand implementation of Forest Rights Act 2006

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 2 (UNI) Tribals and other forest dwellers of Orissa today demanded immediate notification and implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.

Thousands of tribals from across the state marched through the main thoroughfares of the capital city in a protest rally under the banner of 'Campaign for Survival and Dignity' (CSD) as part of the nationwide programme to protest the delay in notification and implementation of the Act.

Later a five member-delegation under the leadership of CSD, Orissa Convener Gopinath Majhi, submitted a memorandum to Governor Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare demanding fulfilment of their six-point charter of demands.

In the memorandum, the CSD alleged that though ten months had lapse since the Act was passed by the Parliament, the Centre had not yet notified it.

Mr Majhi said in the absence of law, false cases were being filed against the tribals and they were being evicted in large numbers.

Under the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) programme the Forest Department in Orissa had started delineating boundaries and stretching walls on land occupied and cultivated by tribals for generations, they alleged.

Besides the implementation of the Act, the forest dwellers also demanded to stop all developmental works under the JBIC , WFP and watershed programmes on forest land and to stop determination of wildlife habitat till the Act was implemented.

The other demands included withdrawal of forest cases filed against the people, inclusion of genuine forest dependants living in and around the forest for their primary livelihood under the Forest Rights Act and restrict the land mafias and contractors to be benefitted.

UNI

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