Government distributes forestland amongst tribals in Orissa

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Koraput (Orissa), Oct 11(ANI): In a bid to resolve growing tension over land between tribals and non-tribals in Orissa's Koraput district, the State Government on Sunday distributed forest land amongst tribals under the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act.

The land lease documents were handed over by the District Collector of Koraput, Gadadhar Parida, to the entitled tribals from Narayanpatna, Bandhagaon and Laxmipur blocks of Koraput district, who had earlier applied for land.

"Till date around 21,000 people applied under the forest rights, of which we have found 5,500 people eligible, out of which 4,000 people have already got the leasehold documents and land strips. Rest of the people will be getting within this week," Gadadhar Parida said.

The initiative has been welcomed by the tribals, who wish to use the land for agriculture and make a decent living.

"We are very happy to get the land, we will use it for agriculture," said Simanchal, a tribal.

The region has been facing tension in the past few months as hundreds of activists of Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh, a tribal outfit backed by the Maoists, forcibly occupied the lands and properties of non-tribals.

In last three months, they had acquired around 3,000 acres of non-tribal land in both these regions and distributed it amongst the tribals.

The unrest had also prompted many non-tribals to flee from the region. (ANI)

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