CPI seeks PM, Sonia's help for notification of Tribals Act

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New Delhi, Oct 17 (UNI) The CPI today sought immediate intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to ensure that the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, passed by Parliament 10 months ago, is notified without further delay.

The Left party also apprised them of what it termed the ''sinister move'' by the vested interests to sabotage the legislation.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, a copy of which was also sent to Ms Gandhi, CPI National Secretary and Rajya Sabha member D Raja said the 10-month delay in notification of the legislation had led to the eviction of hundreds of families in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.

Houses had been demolished, standing crops razed and people arrested in Rajasthan, where in Sirohi district alone, over 500 families were facing eviction notices for the last two months. In Chhattisgarh alone, residents of 24 villages were reportedly evicted in Dantewada district, he said.

''Similar evictions are taking place across Gujarat,'' Mr Raja said.

He contended that these evictions were completely illegal even under the existing law, which said no eviction should occur without an inquiry into people's rights.

''These evictions are clearly aimed at removing people before the Act comes into force- a blatant fraud on the legislation and on Parliament,'' said the letter.

Pointing out to the opposition by certain individuals on grounds of wildlife conservation, Mr Raja questioned how a government suddenly discovered environmental values when it had weakened all environmental and social regulations to benefit the private companies.

Besides, the Act was passed unanimously by Parliament and recommended unanimously by the Joint Parliamentary Committee that held full public consultations.

''It is now the law of the land. The government can not allow it to be rendered null and void by evictions,'' the party added.

UNI

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