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Tribals hold demonstrations; Demand rights over forest land

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Dec 5 (UNI) Scores of tribal and forest dwellers, mostly women, from across the country today held a rally here demanding passage of the Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill, 2005.

The tribals and forest dwellers-- from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Gujarat-- were joined by political Leaders, intellectuals and socio-political activists.

The Bill seeks rights for tribals and forest dwellers over the remote forest land where they have lived for centuries.

The demonstrators also demanded amendments to the bill as recommended by the Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Similar protests took place in Mumbai, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar and Ranchi, where thousands of forest dwellers gathered, beating drums and chanting slogans.

The rally commenced at Jhandewala and wound its way through Paharganj, Ranjit Singh flyover and Barakhamba Road and culminated at Jantar Mantar.

Left leaders Brinda Karat, D Raja, C K Chandrappan, Sudhakar Reddy and Appadurai, BJP leader Juel Oram and RSP's Abani Roy addressed the rally among others.

Reiterating support to the cause, Ms Karat said the Left parties are discussing the issue with the government.

''Discussions and negotiations are happening with the government,'' she added.

Lok Sangarsh Morcha, which had organised the rally, accused the government of ''deliberately ignoring'' the recommendations of the joint parliamentary committee.

''The people will continue to struggle for a progressive tribal bill and also its implementation in true progressive spirit,'' Lok Sangharsh leader Ambarish Rai said.

UNI NR LS HS1808

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