Tripura: Govt accused of driving out forest dwellers

Agartala, May 6: The Tripura government has been accused of forcefully evicting forest dwellers from their own land, a report published in Bengali daily Anandabazaar Patrika said on Monday.

According to the report, the state forest department ordered the eviction of the forest dwellers in Jamjuri area in Gomati district in southern Tripura. The raiders, led by the divisional forest officer, Udaipur range, Arun Kumar, allegedly grounded houses of the forest dwellers in the reserved forest area in the wee hours of Sunday. The raid was also without a notice, it has been alleged. The evicted forest dwellers belong to minority groups.

It is said that nearly 150 people had put up their houses in the forest land adjacent to the Palatana power project and they were also given power connection under the Rajiv Gandhi rural electrification scheme. They were also receiving administrative facilities for many years.

Kumar said the people were being asked to evacuate for the last two years for they could not produce any proof and hence were made to move, Kumar said. Another forest official also said that those families were residing illegally in the forest area and were moved out forcefully as they did not listen to the request made to them.

The opposition is not convinced, however. The Congress alleged that some members of the ruling party have seized land in the forest area to set up rubber plantations and the forest department can not recover those land. The illegal plantations continue to exist but the government is targetting the poor forest dwellers, the opposition alleged. The Congress leaders alleged that the Left government was targetting the forest dwellers for they belonged to other parties and claimed that they also possessed Indian citizenship.

The opposition party said it has urged the administration to ensure rehabilitation for the evicted families.

OneIndia News

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