Guj HC issues notice to Centre, State for tribal protection

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Ahmedabad, Jan 27 (PTI) The Gujarat High court todayissued notices to the Union and state government while hearinga public interest litigation (PIL) demanding protection fortribals under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) in Tapi district ofthe state.

The notices were issued by division bench of ChiefJustice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice K M Thakar, while hearinga PIL by All Indian Tribal Unity and Development Council(AITUDC) working for tribal rights in South Gujarat region.

Five officials of Tapi district including the districtcollector have also been issued notice and ordered to filereply by February 23 in the matter.

According to the PIL by AITUDC, tribals of Tapidistrict who had filed for allotment of land under the ForestRights Act (FRA), were being harassed by non-tribals andforest department officials.

They have sought directions from the court forproviding protection to the affected tribals and that theyshould not be evacuated from their present land under the FRA.

The PIL also seeks direction for the Forest Departmentto expedite processes of scrutinising claims made under FRA.

As many as 14 complaints of atrocity towards tribalshave been filed in different parts of Tapi district, SamsangChristian of AITUDC said. Some of these complaints have beenregistered with the local police, while others were filed incourts, he added. .

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