Land alienation is important problem in tribal areas of India. In spite of protective and benevolent legislations, regulations, the land in the tribal areas identified as scheduled areas in the Indian Constitution is being occupied/ colonized by the migrating non tribals in to the area.
The land records are manipulated and litigation is pushed beyond the reach of tribes. The school education does not enable the people to understand the land records and other tools of governance systems. In 1995 tribals of West Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh for the first time in India organized themselves demanding the distribution of land records and conducting of title verification of the Page 6 | 2011 Justice Makers Application - Electronic http://justicemakers.ibj.orglands enjoyed by non tribals by Govt. It took three years for the Govt to concede the demand of the tribes. Meanwhile the police started arresting the tribes on the complaints of the non tribal land occupants to intimidate the tribes. Police used to conduct flag marches, raids in to the tribal villages and for years together 144 sections i.e. prohibiting the gathering of more than 4 persons were imposed.
The High Court of Andhra Pradesh extensively narrated the situation in their order “The Administration is not finding it easy to meet the challenging situation in the area and unless what is in existence presently between the tribals and non tribals in the area is tackled with care and pursued as a socio economic problem, there is a risk of collapse of the administrative machinery in the area.” Writ Petition 14516 of 1997 order dated 28-7-1997. 1997 (5) ALD 811(DB) .The Court directed that medical doctors under the supervision of Red Cross should provide treatment to the injured tribals during the police raids and the District Judge should go to jail to enquire about the torture of the tribes by police.
The police took the side of non tribals harassed tribals ,registered false cases, put up non bailable sections like 307 (attempt to murder) so that they do not get bail for two or three months . Arrested women were ill treated by police and the breastfed children are not allowed in to jail along with mothers. School children who were arrested have to forgo the exams. One tribal Muche Ramarao was selected for the post of Village Admininistrative Officer .But police objected his posting as criminal cases are pending to him. Arrested tribals were not produced in time in the Court; they were beaten and tortured during interrogation. Police provided support to land lords to harvest the crops in the lands of tribals who were remanded to the judicial custody. The Amnesty International made an appeal to the State Govt. (Index number ASA 20/032 /1997 dated 29-6-97) in the appeal it was observed that ‘the defenders of rights of tribals under attack .Articles 2(1) 4, 9, 19 and 21 of ICC PR violated.’
A. Satya sai, M.V. Ramana both advocates and P. Sarada Devi of SAKTI were arrested and charged with sedition. They obtained anticipatory bail and now the trial is going on. While granting anticipatory bail the High Court in one case observed that “it seems the key members of the organization or implicated in each and every incident”. First information Reports were filed against the accused and others enabling the police to arrest anybody anywhere including them in the ‘others’.
Now the cases foisted against tribes are taken up for trial. So the legal aid to defend them is the need of the hour and also and also as directed by Supreme Court of India, the investigation of atrocities committed against the tribals by an independent officer should be pursued.
TRIBAL UNREST IN W GODAVARI
TRIBAL UNREST IN W GODAVARI FACT, FICTION AND FIRST INFORMATION REPORTS The non - tribal farmers’ associatation has been emboldened to complain that if the police had been stern from the begininning, things would not have come to such a pass. Let us remind ourselves that the tribal unrest of West Godavari is being led, not by the Naxalites or any violent group but by an entirely law abiding voluntary organisation ‘Sakti’. Can one hope that sense will prevail some-where in the official hierarchy concerned with the welfare of tribals and the tribal unrest will be met with justice and not further threats of ‘stren’ action and police cases? K.Balagopal (The author is general secretary of Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee) - Deccan Chronicle, Monday, May 5, 1997.
Reply letter to the National Human Rights Commission - S.R.Sankaran
"It is unfortunate that this matter has been dealt with an issue concerning Police alone. The very fact that there have been such a large number of 118 cases booked, all apparently all against 2175 tribals shows that there is some thing wrong about approach of teh Government and its agencies"
Requested to prepare the district wise (ITDAs) Traditional and Customary Boundary map
“Dr.P.Sivaramakrishna, Director Sakti, is requested to prepare the district wise (ITDAs) Traditional and Customary Boundary map (Resource map) in consultation with the elders of the habitats and traditional sages such as religious places,burial grounds, village council sites along with places of MFP, water resources, bio diversity etc. and also Primitive Tribal Groups tenures for conferring rights under RoFR Act, 2006.” -- Smt. A.Santhi Kumari IAS, Commissioner, Tribal Welfare Dept.
Smt. K.Chayaratan,IAS, Commissioner, Tribal Welfare Dept.
“In WP NO.3734/93, Sakti Vs State of A.P. a division bench of A.P. High Court held that person includes Government. AP Forest Development corporation Limited. Which is an undertaking of Govt. of AP also constitutes a ‘person’. The right to collect cashew fruit from cashew plantaions situated in Naramvadi gudem vill. of Ashwarao pet Mandal in Khamma Dist. is null and void.” To, District Colelctor. Khammam Dist. GO.RT.No. 523, Dt: 01/12/1999,formation of cooperative of Tribals for sale of cashew fruit.
Vinod K Agarwal, IAS Commissioner, Tribal Welfare Dept.
“it has been represented to me that the checnhu tribals have been prevented from dropping fish seed in Rasul Cheruvu situated in the Scheduled area of your district by one fisherman Cooperative Society of Kondanagula. I request you to please get the matter looked into immediately and restore the right to the tribal over the said Rasul Cheruvu.” To, Sri. K.Madhusudhana Rao IAS District Colelctor. MBNR Dist. Copy to: P.Sivaramakrishna, SAKTI
ITDA official asked to pay wages
Horticltural officer of ITDA has been directed to pay the wages to his employees for having failed to discharge legitimate obligation under Minimum Wages Act. The matter was finally disposed off recently directing the officer to pay Rs. 1,25,775/- on which half of the amount as compensation for the delayed payments. They were being paid Rs. 19 instead of Rs. 26 by the time of filling petition in 1992. While the wage board ordered to pay Rs. 39 the horticultural officers of different farms in the agency area of East Godavari district were paying of Rs. 26. only. - Indian Express - November 24, 1995.
Issue of Cane wood to the Tribal beneficiaries
The forest range officer is directed to give necessary instructions to the section officers and forest guard to guide the beneficiaries in cutting and transporting the cane. - Dist. Forest Officer, Kakinada. (Memo.No. Rc.No.18945/85.L)
Forest working plan East godavari Dist. 1995 - 2005
50% of mango trees occupy the total no.of trees in kota Range and 30% in Pullangi range. Since there was an agitation from the tribals against the felling of mango trees, the department has decided to restrict the felling to 2.5 to 3 cum on an average in Kota range and 3 trees per hectare and around 4 cum per hectare on an average in Pullangi range, as against the above figures. The supply of wood to the factory was totally stopped by the High court of Andhra Praadesh as the felling orders issued by the state government are not obtained with prior permission of Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India.