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 The RoFR act recognizes the dwelling site, religious places, burial grounds, village council sites along with places of MFP, water resources, biodiverisity etc and also PVT tenures. As the implementation boils down to title deeds for house sites and lands under cultivation, SAKTI engaged the Chenchu youth to document their traditional knowledge in their idiom and dialect, in encouraging them to assert as inborn foresters, capable of managing these resources as envisaged in the Act.

"Since SAKTI activities are mostly issue based and covering a large area, here we concentrate on the forest-related programmes of SAKTI for the present study."


The Tribal Struggle for Property Rights

-Arun Kumar

SAKTI: Review Report by: Mukta Srivastava, Programme Officer, Oxfam GB in India - Hyderabad . DATE : 20-25 November 2002




Bhukya Bhangya

Asst. Professor of History

Nizam College,

Osmania University,


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Women and Governance in South Asia

Edited by:

Yasmin Tambiah

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                                                                                              - The Hindu, Thursday, August 3, 1995


From Our Staff Reporter

The series of events in the last two months in the agency tracts of West Godavari district, specially in the mandals of Jeelugumilli, Buttayagudem and Polavaram, which led to grave law and order problem, has shown that there has been a new awakening among tribals about their rights. They are asking inconvenient questions like, "when our land holdings are getting reduced for various reasons like division of property among offspring, how is it that those of non-tribals are increasing?" 

The tribals are also questioning the ownership of lands of many a non-tribal in the agency area. Basically, the fight is for lands in the agency area. When senior officials went to the spot and asked the tribals whether they want seeds, fertilizers or pumpsets, the reply was – "What do we do with all this without land. Give us some land." 

The origin of the series of incidents can be traced to a decision taken, on May 4, by the Special Deputy Collector (Tribal Welfare), Kotaramachandrapuram, West Godavari district, in which about 27 acres of fertile land in Jilellagudem village in Jeelugumilli mandal was taken over by the authorities. In the face of strong pressure, specially on Mr.Arvind Kumar, Sub-collector, Kovvuru, land was distributed to tribals by May 30. This was stated to be a rare incident and had sent shock waves among farmers having lands in the tribal areas.

Court stay: 

On previous occasions, what the non-tribal farmers did was to get a stay order from the High Court, for which there was 60 days time, and continue to enjoy the fruits of the land. But on this occasion, officials argued that the time of 60 days was meant for appeal and in no way came in the way of distribution of land taken over from the non-tribals. As expected, the non-tribals did bring a stay order from court but it became infructuous because lands had already been distributed. 

However, this led to friction between tribals and non-tribal farmers in the agency area. In one particular incident, the tribals had gathered in strength and attacked non-tribal farmers, resulting in injuries to 20 persons. This was in the first week of May and the core issue was some 600 acres in Jillellagudem village. 

This led to the arrest of many tribals and promulgation of Section 145 which prevented entry, by both tribals and non-tribals. Encouraged by a favourable decision in the case of lands in Jeelugumilli, tribals in other parts have also occupied lands of non-tribals, which the later have been enjoying for the last several decades. Subsequent events have strengthened the claims of tribals. For example, more than 60 non-tribal farmers have been enjoying an extent of 160 acres in Jillelugudem village. 

The tribals, including some women, occupied these holdings, asserting that the land in question, that is 160 acres, was part of AWD (Assessed Waste Dry) or what is popularly known as Government Poramboke, over which they (tribals) had a claim because it was located in agency area. When officials asked the non-tribal farmers to produce documentary evidence in support of their claim over the lands, 17 farmers could not do so in respect of another 26 acres. 

This phenomenon of tribals occupying lands of non-tribal had spread to other villages and hamlets such as Rachanagudem (where 29 acres had been distributed to tribals) Munugopula, Reddinagapalem, Koyanagapalem, etc, while tribals claim that the land under possession of non-tribal farmers is AWD. 

Relay fast by non-tribals 

Since this is the start of the kharif season and farmers would have to commence their operations and this has been objected to by the tribals. The non-tribals started relay hunger strikes. Some farmers alleged that the Rampachodavaram based voluntary organisation "Sakti" was "instigating" the tribals. However, the chief of "Sakti", Mr.Sivaramakrishan, was not apologetic and asserted that his organisation would fight for the tribals rights. 

The lion’s share of the land is in the possession of non-tribals in the three agency mandals viz Polavaram, Buttayagudem and Jeelugumilli. According to official figures, while the percentage of tribals in Polavram is 59 (total population 17,787 of which 10,524 are tribals) and in Buttayagudem 60 (total population 46,458 of which 27,954 are tribals), it is only 26 in Jeelugumilli (total pupulation 25,336 of which tribals are 6,627). While an extent of 13,358 hectares is held by the tribals, as much as 28,367 hectares is being enjoyed by the non-tribal farmers in the agency area. 

As of now, both tribals and non-tribals have agreed on certain points. Status quo will be maintained, which means, tribals will enjoy the lands for which pattas were given to them recently and they will also not occupy lands of non-tribals till a survey is conducted and ownership rights are decided. Officials have also agreed to read out, in public, the status of land holdings. In fact, records were read out in public in Munugopula Jillellagudem on July 15. This was considered to be a victory for the tribals.

During 1987, a survey was done to implement the Telugu Girijan Maagani Samaaradhana Scheme (TGMS). This survey had identified the extent of Govenment lands, encroachments by non-tribals, the extent of cultivable land available, etc. The tribals have also been demanding publication of these details.   


Tribals for eviction of encroachers

- C. Lokeswara Rao
- Newstime Thursday 19 October, 1995.


Eluru: Ferment is brewing in the Koya tribal belt in the uplands of West Godavari district over the primordial issue of land Girijans in six villages of Polavaram, Jeelugumilli and Manugopala mandals have been refusing to allow non-tribal farmers access to their fields over the last six months. 

Tribals are demanding immediate action to distribute banjar land in the villages. They are also impatient that nothing has materialised so far from promises made months ago by the district collector to take steps to identify and cancel assignments of land in agency area to non-tribals and thus paying way for distribution of land to tribals. Also, non-tribals are getting restive that tribals have been resisting implementation of orders passed by revenue officials to allow present owners (i.e. non-tribals) to cultivate lands until due process is completed for evicting encroachers.

A non-tribal was injured by an arrow in a clash between tribals and non-tribals over land in May and when seven tribals were arrested after the clash, hundreds of tribals armed with bows and arrows marched on to the Jeelugumilli police station. Now, with non-tribal farmers having to virtually miss the present kharif season, a law and order situation is building up in the villages swept by the ferment against non-tribals. Three police pickets have been stationed but tension is building up.

Uplands in West Godavari district, referred to in revenue jargon as Assessed Waste Dry-lands (ASD) in these parts, are prized on account of rich yields of cash crops like chilly, cotton and tobacco. Land commands a price of about Rs.1.5 lakh an acre in the adjoining non-tribal area of Jangareddigudem mandal. Non-tribal encroachers who have been farming land over some decades tend to sell land for as little as Rs.20,000 or Rs.15,000 as they apprehend that ultimately non-tribals would face eviction from the tribal area. Apparently there are many land – hungry farmers who venture to buy land here, mainly on account of rich crop yields. Cotton farmers reportedly pay annual lease of Rs.8,000 an acre here.

A campaign against non-tribal farmers was built up in recent years after Sakthi, a voluntary agency, began to arm villagers with information on banjar lands supposedly available in respective villages. While some complaints are pursued against non-tribals, the general stand of tribals is that they want immediate distribution of banjar land (which might have been encroached). The girijans are prepared to wait for eviction of non-tribals and distribution of such land. However, in order to lend teeth to their agitation for banjar land, they are taking a stand that non-tribals would not be allowed to cultivate their fields until government distributes banjar land. Officials of intermediate levels, like mandal revenue officers or police, can perhaps help in delaying the process of evicting non-tribals. But even these officials are helpless against the determination of tribals to prevent cultivation. Usually the non-tribals farming land in these tribal villages, live in some other villages and they have been unable to break the resistance of tribals even when they come in convoys of tractors. The non-tribals have been trying other methods like ‘dharnas’ to bring pressure on government.

Ironically the present ferment began with an order by the special deputy collector (land transfer regulations) over a complaint by one Ramineni Rathaiah regarding 29 acres of land in Jillellagudem village of Jeelugumilli mandal. The man who held possession was evicted but since the complaint could not establish his tribal status, the land was to be distributed among tribals. The sub-collector of Kovvur took prompt action to evict the encroacher against whom a complaint was pursued. Later, following protests like hunger-strikes and ‘dharnas’ "section 145" order was passed restraining both parties from entering the disputed land until a revenue order is passed in the matter. The sub-collector then passed an order which noted that while non-tribals in possession of land had violated "section one of 70" dealing with alienation of tribal land, they could continue in possession until appropriate procedure for restoring tribal land was completed.

Such "section 145" orders could not be implemented due to opposition from tribals. Then a three-point compromise was worked out. 1 - implementation of pending orders in favour of tribals or non-tribals. 2 – not disturbing non-tribals while cases are pending. 3 – reading out records of Telugu Girijana Magani Samaradhana (agency land survey conducted in 1987) in all villages.

The collector of West Godavari visited the area in July and later got land records released to village committees comprising one educated tribal and four girijan women. People armed with such official information discovered that 500 acres of banjar land was supposed to be available in Munugopala village.

The project officer of ITDA at Kota Ramachandrapuram who was directed by the collector to file papers for initiating procedure for canceling assignments to non-tribals reportedly took his own time. Then the file was returned by the collector’s office because some in formation was wanting.

In the mean time Koyas in other villages took up similar protests. While farming was not allowed in Thatiramanna gudem, Manugopala, Koyanagannapalem and Reddinagannapalem, non-tribals were stopped from entering fields planted with cotton in Lankalapalli in the end of September. The stalemate continues.





W.P. No. 5515/87 M.P.No.7398/87 Date:May 1987

W.P. No. 6175/87 M.P.No.8273/87 Date:May 1987

 "Managing Director Godavari plywoods ltd. Rampachodavaram E.G.Dt. be and hereby is directed not to cut any mango trees, jamun and jack trees and cutting the forests of Maredumilli mandal, E.G.Dt."

 Only matured or dying trees were to be felled. Jeelugu (Caryota urens) palm, trees yielding minor forest produce like tamarind or cane brakes, creepers were not to be touched. A gap of 20 meters from a stream.)         --Times of India, April 30, 1991.


The candidate has chosen a topical subject, very relevant to our thinking on culture, cognition and language. He has red widely and is familiar with the literature that matters. His linguistic and anthropological reasoning is sound. His language is clear and simple.

...evidence of the investigator's ability as a linguist by special training and as a linguistic anthropologist by self - cultivated interest.

Prof. A.Munirathnam Reddy, Head, Department of Social Anthropology,S.V.University, Tirupati - 517502


Enabling the Community to Gain Command Over the Administrative Process is Empowerment.


"Today the development is manaement without governance and governanace is without proper participation."



A.P.Cabinet Sub - Committee Report on Left Wing Extrremists. - P.Sivaramakrishna.

The only information the government or media always compile carefully is on Naxalite encounters, never the violations of the instruments of rule of law such as minimum wages, fifth schedule, mismanagement of forests, equity in the distribution of welfare benefits, displacement, fragmentation of Socio-economic entities etc. 



if the R & R is found to be lagging with reference to the fixed bench marks, the construction should accordingly be deferred / stopped;



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