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AN ESSENTIAL GUIDE ON THE UTILIZATION OF THE GODAVARI WATERS AND RESOURCES


 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

 


RECONSTRUCTING A HISTORY OF LAND,

DISPOSSESSION OF ADIVASI LAND IN THE WEST GODAVARI DISTRICT OF A.P.

Bhukya Bhangya

Asst. Professor of History

Nizam College,

Osmania University,

Hyderabad

Read full article


 

East Godavari  |  Khammam

West Godavari is the smallest Agency area in Andhra Pradesh comprising of only 3 mandals. These mandals are a part of Kovvur Revenue Division which includes 18 mandals (15 are non-tribal). As a result the 3 tribal mandals do not receive the quality of attention that is given by a sub-collector. The Project Officer of Tribal Welfare is also not from the IAS cadre. His role is also confined to development and does not encompass land issues. The non-tribals adopted the strategy of obtaining stay orders from various courts and thereby virtually stalling the process of disputed land identification and distribution. Even where District administration had clearly found that land was occupied without title by non-tribals, stay orders were obtained from the High Court on frivolous grounds to prevent further action.


In 1992, SAKTI discovered this abuse of legal process where stay orders supposed to be in force for 60 days were being used for years and even decades together. By virtue of its past work in East Godavari district, SAKTI was able to obtain locus standi to implead in these cases. By 1996 all the 32 separate writ petitions that were holding the disposal of cases were consolidated into one batch, the Collector filed his affidavit in support of SAKTI’s stand and the cases were listed for final hearing before the High Court. The continuation of these stay orders for so long a time had created a false impression in the area that there was a "general stay" in West Godavari, by quoting which many other cases where disputed land was identified were also not being decided. This fictitious concept was now under serious challenge and its end was now inevitable. By its action, SAKTI had exploded this myth of "general stay" which sent shock waves through the illegal non-tribal occupants of tribal land in the district. Meanwhile, the public reading of land records in the presence of the District Collector became a practice in the tribal areas. The tribals by this time were motivated to pursue their rights over land by the reading of land records and well aware of the implications of the vacation of stays by Courts. They were now closely looking at the lands in their respective villages Survey number by Survey number and questioning how the transfers to non-tribals had taken place in the past despite the laws preventing such transfers. Non-tribals then attacked and tried to intimidate tribals in Busarajapalli village which is located in the midst of non-tribal areas. Instead of their usual meek acceptance of the punishment sought to be meted out by non-tribals, they responded aggressively to the attack and chased away the attackers. After this incident, the non-tribals attacked the office of the Mandal Revenue Officer and burned the land records for the entire area. Much of the land in West Godavari is fertile, irrigated, and valuable - with conservative estimates of market prices ranging up to Rs.150,000 per acre for prime land; being fertile the land also generates a significant income. Now that the writing on the wall was clearly visible, the non-tribals fell back on an old strategy that has served them so well over the years: using amenable police officers to terrorise the tribals and break their will to fight for their rights. The managed to get a Deputy Superintendent of Police amenable to their influence posted in Jangareddigudem, which has jurisdiction over this area. This officer launched a terror campaign to intimidate tribals and SAKTI’s staff by foisting hundreds of false criminal cases on them. His role was even noted in a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee which criticised the police for its ineffectiveness in maintaining peace and for taking sides with the non-tribals. The tribals kept up their vehement protest against his actions till he was transferred from the area in September, 1997 (unfortunately he was posted to Rampachodavaram where he started a campaign of vicious attacks on SAKTI, its staff and office and booked many false cases against tribals and SAKTI’s staff - described later). Meanwhile the Communist Party of India (Marxist) tried to hijack the land movement in Butayyagudem area. In response, in 1999, a Sub-Inspector of Police with a notorious record of encounter killings and lock-up deaths was posted in Butayyagudem Police Station. Through his vicious actions, he managed to kill the land movement in this area. The non-tribals then got him transferred to Jilugumilli area in early 2000 where he continued his repressive actions for almost one year. The tribals in that area resisted his efforts vigorously and as a result the Police had to allow the tribals to enjoy the land which they had negotiated earlier pending final settlement by the authorities. This Sub-Inspector was later suspended by the government due to his involvement in unlawful activities. 

 


 

AWAKENING AMONG TRIBALS IN AGENCY TRACTS
                                                                                              - The Hindu, Thursday, August 3, 1995

 

From Our Staff Reporter
RAJAHMUNDRY, Aug. 2.

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.

 

 


 

DISTRICT COLLECTOR REPORT TO GOVERNMENT

- July 1996

 

he main reasons for the disputes between tribals and non-tribals in Agency area are categorised as follows:

1. The tribals are claiming the lands classified orginally at the time of survey and Settlement in the year 1932 as A.W.D. in the Settlement Register, which are in occupation of Non-tribals on the ground that the Non-tribals are not eligible for assignment in Agency area in government villages from the year 1917.
2. The lands covered by transaction took place between Non-tribals after enactment of Regulation 1/70 should not be restored to original vendors but they should be distributed to eligible tribals as the transactions took place between one non-tribal and other Non-tribal are null and void as per Regulation 1/70.


3. The lands classified as A.W.D. in village Accounts in taken over Estate Villages should be assigned to the Tribals only by evicting non-tribals from those lands.

***

"It was decided to post an independent Settlement officer to finalise the pending settlement cases within six months: (Action: Rev.Department)"

- The minutes of the Chief Minister’s meeting on 6-8-1996 at 2.30 P.M.

 

Tribal, non-tribal ties worsen

- By C.Lokeswar Rao
- Newstime-Hyderabad, 8th August, 1996

 

Hyderabad: Gutting of the mandal revenue office (M.R.O) at Jangareddygudem by non-tribal farmers and an attack by tribals in Busarajupalli on a local leader, K.Rambabu, indicate that the administration in West Godavari district is hoist with a grave situation in the agency areas like Jangareddygudem, Jeelugumilli, Busarajupalli, Buttaigudem on a Polavaram where skirmishes have been fought over the last 16 months between tribals and non-tribals over the primordial issue of land.

Sporadic violence has been raging in the tribal areas of West Godavari even though police have been deployed in strength over the last two months and armed police were rushed to the area in recent weeks.

A raid on Manugopula village by non-tribal farmers which left ten people injured and several houses destroyed and the confinement of a party of non-tribals which included women for five hours at Darbhagudem by tribals until police rescued the non-tribals sometime in the middle of the night are among the other major incidents reported in recent weeks. The police deployed after these incidents were apparently ineffective while non-tribals were attacked at Busarajupalli and when MRO's office, the depository of land records which are at crux of the war of attrition over the last 16 months was gutted.

Direct Action:

Tribals armed with bows and arrows have been resorting to "direct action" in preventing non-tribals from entering the fields which they have been cultivating for several years to press demand for identifying and evicting people holding land in agency area in violation of Regulation one of 1970 which is meant to prevent alienation of tribal land. Non-tribal farmers affected by the agitation by Koya tribals, who include many small and marginal farmers and some Dalits who had been given assignment pattas in tribal villages, have been resorting to 'rasta-roko' campaigns to bring pressure on the state government. Women have been in the forefront of the war for survival in both camps. While Koya women are lining up with bows and arrows to prevent non-tribals from entering the fields for sowing or harvesting, women from non-tribal families are taking the initiative in rasta-roko campaigns. Though they can muster vehicles like tractors, non-tribals are at a disadvantage as most of them do not live in the tribal hamlets where they have been cultivating land. Some non-tribals from Darbhagudem who set out to harvest paddy from their fields in Panduvarigudem and Seemalavarigudem were surrounded by armed tribals and were confined till they were rescued by a police party around midnight. Mango and cashew apples worth about Rs.one crore were picked by tribals from the 600-acre estate of the Hukampet Zamindar this summer and 49 tribals were arrested in connection with the incident recently. The fact that the arrests took place more than two month after the incident only served to aggravate tensions. 



Ambivalence, Not Apathy:

Shockingly it is a case of ambivalence, not apathy. The administration has been aware of socio-economic-cultural dimensions of the war being fought in the tribal tract of West Godavari since the summer of 1995.

Thanks to the efforts of Sakthi, a voluntary agency which has been collecting and disseminating information on land records, tribals woke up to the fact that non-tribals seemed to hold most of the uplands (termed assessed waste dry in revenue jargon) which bore rich crops of cotton, chillies and tobacco. It is not that all the non-tribals farming land in agency areas were assigned pattas by bending rules. Many of them had bought land cheap from other, non-tribals who anticipated the day tribals would assert their rights under Regulation one of 1970 and sold off their holdings. Since land in non-tribal areas costs about Rs.1.5 lakh an acre and even annual lease to a cotton farmer fetches Rs.8,000 or so, The buyers thought they were securing a bargain paying about Rs.20,000 for an acre of land.

The major dimensions of the problem are that 70 per cent of the people in agency areas, who are non-tribals, may lose land since Regulation one of 1970 makes no exception. About 1,400 acres of land may have to be handed over by non-tribals under land transfer regulation.

Due process fails to deliver:

The administration has been aware of the problem but has been proceeding at a snail's pace with key measures like identifying people who encroached land, evicting encroachers and distributing land among tribals. The present conflict was ignited last year when tribals felt that the "due process" of government did not deliver justice.

A man holding 29 acres of land was identified as an encroacher and evicted but the land could not be secured for distribution to tribals. After a campaign of hunger strikes and dharnas a Section 145 order was passed restraining both parties from entering the disputed fields. Later, the same sub-collector who passed eviction orders passed an order that while the non-tribals in possession had violated Regulation one of 1970, they could continue in possession until appropriate procedure for restoring tribal land is completed. (Newstime October 19, 1995)

This exercise in ambivalence is being played out, over and over again. Sakthi is being allowed access to information. Land records are being read out a village meetings (the complaint by Girijans of Busarajupalli was that only banjar list was read out and the list of pattas was not called out). The MROs who read out records never took action on the basis of history of ownership. All the time tribals are subjected to pep talks about peace and asked to give assurance that they would wait "till due process is completed." And senior officials do not seem to be interested in questions such as the number of land holders who are descendants of patta holders or the result of an LTR enquiry.

Administration's Modest Achievements:

Considering that Skirmishes have been fought for 16 months, atleast 1,400 acres has to be taken over for distribution and loss of agricultural production due to standstill caused by confrontation runs into crores (cashew and mango 'looted' in one incident were estimated to be worth Rs.one crore), the tangible achievements of the administration are exasperatingly modest. While 95 per cent patta lands have changed hands, government has looked into only five per cent cases under Land Transfer Regulation (LTR) and there have been no enquiries into encroachments. In isolated instances, the Collector got 24 acres of land distributed in Jillellagudem and a joint collector visited Lankalapalli and had notices served to non-tribals of Jilugumilli to report history of land ownership. The Tribals who picked cashew from groves of non-tribals in Barrinkalapadu, Lankalapalli and Panduvarigudem were incensed by the fact that possession of 27 acres of land supposedly distributed in Vankavarigudem was delayed. Though a monitoring cell was formed after these incidents, all that was achieved was that 47 acres was taken over for distribution in Manugopula and 24 acres in Kamayyapalem, incidentally a village free of disputes.

Tracing Records:

Tribals are now demanding that records of 1902, 1932 and 1995 be read out together to trace the process of alienation of land, making public the history of ownership, supply of Photostat copies of land records, guidance on process of filing complaints, a separate cell in collector's office functioning under collector's supervision and a time-bound schedule for identifying and evicting encroachers and for distributing land. Why should it take ages since there are only some 200 survey numbers in tribal villages, is the question. 

 

 


 

Saying boo to the babus

- By C.Lokeswara Rao.
- Newstime, Wednesday 9th April, 1997.

 

Recent goings on in the tribal tract of West Godavari district can be viewed as a classic case of the lower rungs of administration at the grassroots level doing things their way in handling the confrontation between tribals and non-tribals over land, saying boo to the thinking of the Andhra Pradesh government as expressed in important documents like a note prepared by the chief secretary for an all-party meeting.

Officials and non-officials at various levels in the power structure had a hand in the process of alienation and encroachment of land in scheduled areas which took place over several decades and the current round of confrontation was triggered nearly two years ago, when tribals were convinced of bias in functioning of bureaucracy and felt the need to supplement legal campaigns with a show of militancy. That led to actions like preventing non-tribals from cultivating fields or harvesting crops in encroached lands in scheduled areas.

When non-tribals protested against distribution of land to tribals in Jillelagudem village of Jeelugumilli village of Jeelugumilli mandal in May, 1995, Section 145 was imposed and the SDM observed in his order that while non-tribals were unable to establish ownership of land, they could continue in the land till the appropriate authorities cancelled their title deeds. The order was passed by the very same bureaucracy which was supposed by the very same bureaucracy which was supposed to initiate such proceedings and they still have not carried out their duty in this regard.

The gravity of the problems caused by the ongoing confrontation can be assessed from the fact that cultivation has been abandoned for the last two years in about 10,000 acres of land in areas beyond Kovvada canal.

A note prepared by M.S.Rajajee, chief secretary, for a meeting in the chief minister's chamber on February 17 gives ample indications of the government's thinking, though the all-party meeting called on February 17 did not take place for some reasons. The decisions made by the government with the approval of chief minister Chandrabau Naidu reflect keenness to help tribals who have suffered due to apathy and bias on the part of the administration.

The government was to initiate measures like verification of claims of tribals pertaining to lands held by non-tribals, identification of government lands which could be assigned in favour of tribals, action to keep tribals in possession of (government, cases decided under LTR and ceiling surplus) where ownership has been given to tribals and identification of poromboke lands where ek-sala(one year) lease can be granted to tribals.

The chief secretary's note also mentioned that the West Godavari collector was to identify all the criminal cases booked against, tribals and non-tribals (except serious cases relating to murder, grievous hurt and rape) in consultation with public prosecutor, peace monitoring committees headed by Revenue Divisional Officers and the SP, and send details to government for a decision to withdraw the cases as per legal provisions. The collector had informed the government that 146 cases booked against tribals and 176 cases booked against non-tribals were under examination by the public prosecutor and that those would be finalised and sent to government for withdrawal.

While making up its mind to withdraw cases filed in connection with the West Godavari confrontation, the government was aware of three major incidents which were listed in the note the chief secretary prepared: trespass by about 300 tribals nto the lands of non-tribals in Buttayagudem and Reddiganapavaram mandal (14-12-96) tension in Reddyganapavaram and neighboring villages leading to promulgating of Section 144 (28-12-96) and tension in Dharbagudem and Panduvarigudem villages of Jeelugumilli mandal which was brought under control after the intervention of RDO, Kovvuru. These clashes formed the backdrop for a high level meeting called in Hyderabad on December 30, 1996 and the various decisions listed by the chief secretary, including the decision to ask collector to send details for initiation of the legal process for withdrawal of criminal cases, were taken at that meeting on 30-12-96.

Though the all-party meeting convened by government in the chief minister's chamber was not held for some reasons which had for some reasons which had nothing to do with the West Godavari developments, the failure to hold meeting of legislators had no bearing on the decisions listed in the chief secretary's note. The government never said anything about reversing any of the decisions mentioned by the chief secretary.

And yet, the local administration unleashed repression in the agency areas in March, i.e. long after the circulation of the chief secretary's note spelling out the government's decisions and hundreds of arrests were made towards the end of march in connection with the clashes which took place in December last.

That is, arrests were made in relation to cases which were to be withdrawn after the government had initiated the process by getting collector to have details verified by collector in consultation with public prosecutor.

The chief secretary's note mentions that the chief minister and the chief secretary had held periodical and regular reviews to monitor the situation and the note concludes with the lines, "The situation is being monitored regularly at the highest level in the Government".

If the bureaucracy at mandal level can get away with actions contrary to the spirit of government's decisions, so much for monitoring.

The tragedy is that the charade of concern at the state government's level and repression at the grassroots level is being enacted in one tribal tract where Naxalites have not yet gained a foothold and the struggle for land is led by mainstream elements like voluntary agency Sakthi and CPM though a couple of splinter Naxal groups have a presence.

 


 

Selective sloth

- News Time Tuesday September 19 2000

 

The background to an order issued by the Andhra Pradesh High Court recently about a petition filed by a woman activist fighting for tribal land is typical of the tawdry progress in protecting the interests of indigenous people. Justice B Sudershan Reddy issued an interim directive to the Assistant Director, Survey and Land Records of West Godavari district and the Mandal Revenue Officer of Jeelugumilli to provide the petitioner, T Krishnaveni, with the details of an enjoyment survey, title verification and details of patta lands as well as poramboku lands in occupation of non-tribals, and observed that the documents sought by the petitioner were public documents, not confidential or precluded information. The judge observed moreover that a district level committee where the petitioner first aired a demand for documents about lands in possession of non-tribals was constituted for the very purpose of ascertaining details of land in the occupation of non-tribals. The committee headed by the district collector had been formed on the basis of an earlier directive of the high court with the goal of resolving conflicts over tribal land, Krishnaveni complained in her petition that she was denied information essential for identifying land alienated in contravention of Agency regulations though the collector had directed the survey official and the MRO to provide her with such information. That is, the tribal woman had to secure an order from the high court to direct a couple of government officials to provide information they had collected in pursuit of the objective of settling disputes over land in Agency area after they failed to comply with similar instructions form the collector. Imagine what would happen if citizens had to move high court when officials did not comply with instruction given by the municipal commissioner, the police commissioner and so on. Or could it be that this is an instance of selective sloth, of things moving at a sluggish pace in matters concerning tribals who do not have clout. Krishnaveni also complained that activists were being advised not be impatient and threatened with police measures like Section 144 to suppress activities like holding meetings in pursuit of the land struggle.



Roc. N.69/2002 Revenue Divisional Office,
Kovvur, dt. 6-2-2002.

From: To

Sri K.Sridhar, The Special Commissioner and Revenue Divisional Officer, Director of Settlements,
Kovvur, Andhra Pradesh

West Godavari District. HYDERABAD

Respected Sir,

Sub: E.A.Act 1948 and A.P. Regulations 1/69, 2/69 and 2/70 details of disposal of RP/AP cases 
for the period from 1990 to 2001 by Joint Collector/Settlement Officers and Sub Collector / 
Revenue Divisional Officer cum Settlement Officers – report submitted – reg.

Ref: 1. Spl. Commissioner & Director of Settlements, A.P. Hyderabad Fax Message No. 
A2/3465/2001. Dt.28-01-2002.

2. Spl. Commissioner & Director of Settlements, A.P. Hyderabad No. A2/3465/2001, dt. 31-1-2002.

* * *

I invite kind attention to the referred cited and submit herewith the details of cases disposed by Revenue Divisional Officer Cum-Settlement Officer, Kovvur, W.G.Dist., Under A.P. Regulation 1/69 and 2/70 during the period from 192 to 2001 (Year wise).

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S.No. Year No. of cases disposed
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I. A.P.Regulation 1/69
II. A.P.Regulation 2/69
-NIL- III. A.P.Regulation 2/70 1. 1990 -Nil-
2. 1991 -Nil-
3. 1992 -Nil-
4. 1993 -Nil-
5. 1994 -Nil-
6. 1995 -Nil-
7. 1996 21 cases
8. 1997 190 cases
9. 1998 -Nil-
10. 1999 -Nil-
11. 2000 -Nil-
12. 2001 -Nil-
-------------------------
Total: 211 cases
------------------------- Yours faithfully,

Revenue Divisional Officer,

Sub-Settlement Officer,

Kovvur
Copy submitted to the Chief Commissioner Land Administration A.P. Hyderabad for favour of information.
Copy submitted to the Joint Collector, W.G.Dist., Eluru for favour of information. 

 


 

HIGH COURT ALLOWED THE PROACTIVE ROLE OF SAKTI IN PURSUING THE CASES OF LAND RIGHTS:

 

Order in Writ Petition No: 22366 of 1996, 02-09-1996
SAKTI Vs. Settlement Officer, 
Kovvur, West Godavari

"In the view of the matter, I hold that the petitioner-organisation is entitled to represent the cause of the tribals wherever and whenever it is necessary for safeguarding the interests of the tribals. Accordingly, the respondent is directed to permit the petitioner-organisation to represent the cause of the tribals either individually on collectively. When the petitioner-organisation makes any submission or representation, the respondent shall take note of the name and decide the issue of granting of patta according to law keeping in view the representation of the petitioner. The respondent shall also provide the necessary information to the petitioner-organisation relating to granting of pattas so as to protect the interests of the tribals."

 

TRIBALS’ FIGHT FOR THEIR LAND
TRIBAL UNREST IN W GODAVARI

 

FACT, FICTION AND FIRST INFORMATION REPORTS

The non-tribal farmers’ association has been emboldened to complain that if the police had been stern from the beginning, 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 somewhere in the official hierarchy concerned with the welfare of tribals and the tribal unrest will be met with justice and not further threats of ‘stern’ action and police cases?

K Balagopal
(The author is general secretary of Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee)

- DECCAN CHRONICLE MONDAY MAY 5 1997

 

 

- The Hindu May 3, 1997

By R.J.Rajendra Prasad

TRIBALS holding a police party hostage for a day to prevent the arrest of their chieftain and others - injuring five persons with bows and arrows during a clash - may sound like a tale from the pre independence days. But this is what happened recently in the villages of Polavaram. Jeelugumilli and Buttayagudem mandals of West Godavari in Andhra Pradesh. The Koya tribesmen are resisting the harvesting of their crops by non-tribals, demanding that the Land Transfer Regulation 1 of 1970 (which prohibits the transfer of ownership of land in the Agency areas except to a tribal) be enforced to letter and in spirit.

The situation in West Godavari district has become tense because of the intervention by a non-government organisation (NGO) called SAKTI, which has been active in the area for the past three years. The 10 social activists working for SAKTI are Koya tribesmen themselves, and they have succeeded in making the tribal families aware of the regulations in force in their favour. The Director, Dr.P.Sivaramakrishna, who took his doctorate degree on the theme of tribal folk songs, got the land record of 1932, when the last survey and settlement was done, partaining to the Scheduled Areas of the distrct. His team goes to the villages reading the names of the owners of the land under survey numbers that can be identified today, and the tribals have become aware that their grandfathers owned the land after all and that now they have the right of ownership.

The Koya tribals have become bold after three years of a sustained struggle, having realised that the law is in their favour. But the absence of any NGO working in their areas perhaps explains why the Scheduled Areas of Adilabad. Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam and Visakhapatnam are quiet today."

 

 

"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 perceived as a socio-economic problem, there is a risk of collapse of the administrative machinery in the area...." (Judgement in WP No.14516 of 1997).

-Chief Justice P.S.Misra,, High Court of A.P.

 

 

Readers will remember the cases of MROs and Sub-Inspectors being kidnapped by tribals, crops harvested by them, police shooting at tribals. Bows, arrows and spears - reminiscent of the great Rampa revolt, were again freely used. But this time, the might of the State represented by its gun-trotting police, their dreaded lock-ups, the rigmarole of court proceedings and the doubletalking politicians could not cow the tribals down. The help given by SAKTI in reading the records, analysing the documents, legal help to get bail and fight court cases, was enough to tip the balance.

- Geetha Ramaswamy : Deccan Chronical July 23, 2000

 


 

 

THE INDIFFERENCE OF 
NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

"It is unfortunate that this matter has been dealt with as an issue concerning police alone. The very fact that there have been such a large number of 118 cases booked, all apparently against 2175 tribals shows that there is something wrong about the approach of the Government and its agencies".

"It is noted that the representation to NHRC from SAKTI is dated June 1997 and the report of the SP is of June 1998. The criminal cases pertain to 1996 and 1997. The present letter has been addressed to us in July 2001. As we are now in August 2001, i.e., more than four years since the original complaint was made, the ground level situation must be different now for better or worse. The only advice that can be offered therefore, apart from the above comments, is that the Commission may without any loss of further time":

request a special officer of the Commission to visit the area and make a detailed inquiry summoning the District Collector and the SP and examining all records.

resolve the land problems according to the Regulation and the judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

direct action against officials and others who have been found on inquiry to have harassed tribals for agitating for their legal rights.

Sri S.R.Sankaran, responding to the reference of 
NHRC - Date: 09-08-2001

 


 

TRIBAL AND LAND ALIENATION

 

The state responds to the problems only in ad hoc way. Whenever there is an uprising, either free laws are passed or now committee are formed to deal with the issue. Thus, when the situation became tense in 1997 in this area, a meeting was convened involving officials of the revenue, social welfare and tribal departments. This meeting is significant since a member of organisation called Sakthi which has been involved in struggles of tribals, was also invited. The meeting resulted in a fresh batch of guidelines to resolve the land issue between the tribals and non-tribals.

-Vasudha N., Advocate based at Hyderabad, Indian Express, May 27 1999.

 

MINUTES OF THE MEETING ON CONDUCT OF SURVEY

 

A meeting to discuss the modalities of the verification process to be carried oujt in the agency area of West Godavari district was convened on 22nd October, 1997 at 4.00 p.m in the chambers of the Principal Secretary (SW), Government of A.P., Hyderabad. 

The following members attended the meeting:

  • Sri S.Ray, I.A.S., Principal Secretary to Government, Social Welfare Department.
  • Sri J.Rambabu, IAS Principal Secretary to Government, Revenue Department.
  • Sri G.Sudhir, IAS, Secretary to Government, Revenue Department.
  • Sri T.S.Appa Rao, IAS, Commissioner of Tribal Welfare.
  • Sri Anil Kumar Singhal, Project Officer, ITDA, K.R.Puram, W.G.Dist.
  • Dr. Sivaramakrishna from SAKTI.

The Principal Secretary (SW) invited Mr. Sivaramakrishna to express his opinion on the conduct of verification work. Sri. Sivarama krishna opined that his organisation had partial information which could be supplementary to the official records and the main responsibility of providing information had to be shouldered by the Government. He agreed, in general, with the paper presented by the Project Officer, I.T.D.A.

The members deliberated at length as to how to handle a situation where no land might actually come to tribals in a particular village. The Principal Secretary, Revenue desired that it should not become a mere justification exercise for the possession of land by non-tribals.

It was decided that SAKTI shall immediately start preparing the tribals for the verification process.

Finally it was decided that Project Officer shall write, along with Sivaramakrishna, a note incorporating all the issues discussed in the meeting, specifying the role of all officials / non-officials for perusal of the Principal Secretary, Social Welfare.

The Principal Secretary, Social Welfare thanked everybody for attending the meeting.

 


 

 

"The village (Panduvarigudem) appeared empowered in terms of understanding the revenue maps and the status of their land. Some youth, including women, demonstrated as to how to read the map and identify their lands through maps. They informed the review team that they could deal with the MROs (Mandal Revenue Officers) and collectors due to their thorough understanding about the status of lands. Women were in the forefront here too. When enquired as to why so many women were in the forefront, we were informed by women that their men folk indulged in drinking and wasting away their time, besides being irresponsible enough to sell their land. Women therefore demanded to be the owners of the land. They also informed that they had collectively built enough clout to take on men who indulged in wife beating".

- A visitor – November 22, 2002.

 

 

TRIBALS TRAINED IN LAND SURVEY

 

-The Hindu, Tuesday, April 6, 1999

"The teams (of tribal youth) have detected several "errors" in the official records given to them under the direction of the High Court. As per the records, Tellam Ademma, a tribal is the owner and cultivator of the land measuring 6.37 acres in Survey No. 32. The actual position is that Ademma’s family had cultivated only 1.37 acres while the remaining 5 acres was under the enjoyment of one Mr. M. Venkat Reddy and his brothers."

"Out of 26 people trained (by SAKTI) from a dozen villages, 15 learned skills to read village land maps, adangal, field measurement book, and Resurvey Register and can locate the targeted plot in the field. The next step they plan is to decipher title deeds."

LAND SURVEY PUT OFF AS CPI (M) SEEKS TIME

 

- The Hindu, September 24, 1998

By Our Staff Reporter

ELURU, Sept.23 The verification of land ownership in the agency villages did not make much headway on the first day on Wednesday at Doramamidi in Buttayagudem mandal with the CPI (M) leaders seeking more time for perusal of land records.

The CPI(M) was found seriously handicapped by not having the support of technical people who could help them in probing the Land Transfer Regulation violatioins and irregularities in issuing of settlement pattas.

Instead, the leaders sought physical verification of the entire land which would yield nothing to the tribals except small variations in measurement and benami holdings.

The leaders had failed to question the process of settlement and bring to light the violations with proof.

 


 

 

COPS HOUND GUTSY TRIBAL WOMAN
West Godavari woman in trouble for seeking village records

 

- Deccan Chronicle, Dt.16-11-2000

From GITA RAMASWAMY

Eluru Nov.15: Three months ago, Tellam Krishnaveni, a Koya woman from Darbhagudem in Jeelugumilli mandal in West Godavari district, came to Hyderabad. Four years of unceasing struggle to retrieve the hereditary lands of her forefathers from plains settlers had brought her to the High Court. All she asked for was access to the revenue records of her village - the records that indicate whose land is being cultivated by whom and why, whether lands have been transferred and how, etc.

On August 23, 2000, Justice B Sudarshan Reddy granted her access to the records, and directed the District Collector and her subordinate officials to supply her the documents within two weeks.

All Krishnaveni has received is a photostat of the unauthenticated, scribbled, indecipherable notes of a village patwari. Collector Poonam Malakondiah has refused to give any interview to any adivasi representative.

Krishnaveni is on the run from village to village - evading the dragnet of the police. Police have filed seven cases against her, including for murder. Along with 20 other Koya women and 530 men, all except one, Koyas, she is charged with murdering a plains landlord far away from her village. Three of the cases are filed from distant villages, the usual ploy being to file a complaint against a few accused and a few hundred ‘others’. All inconvenient people like Krishnaveni come under this comfortable category of ‘others’.

On October 2, Krishnaveni’s home was raided by 200 policemen led by the DSP himself. They smashed her TV set, poured kerosene into the rice and sugar rations, burnt the family’s clothes, tore up the schoolbooks of her children and her Dwcra records (Krishnaveni is the leader of the local Dwcra group), asking for the munda who had the guts to approach higher authorities. No one else’s house was touched.

What has this petite 35 year old woman done to have had her photographs blown up and pasted at all police stations and in town centres? She is happily married with two school-going children. As a rare Koya woman having studied up to 5th standard, she was selected Dwcra group leader in 1994. Since then there has been no looking back. When the adivasi unrest over the occupation of their lands by plains settler-landlords picked up momentum in 1995-96, her village Darbhagudem with 3.358.49 acre of land under non-tribals occupation was one of the first to engage with the issue.

Krishnaveni is full of hope. " The courts have ruled in our favour. The law is on our side. Our names are in the records. We have the courage to fight to the end. We will definitely and certainly win." Such an expression of hope from the representative of a people who have been sidelined by all State institutions despite a plethora of protective legislations, by all political parties and by virtually all civil society organisations, is significant.

 

 


 

TRIBAL LAND IN TURMOIL

- Deccan Herald - Sunday Spotlight - May, 18th 1997 R.Akhileswari, Hyderabad.

Payam Gangamma of Busarajupalli village of Buttayagudem mandal was one of the 114 tribals arrested in August last when a violent confrontation took place between tribals and non-tribals near her village. "We will go to jail again and again. We are not afraid any more", she told Sunday Spotlight which toured the troubled mandals recently, after incarceration in Rajahmundry jail the neighboring East Godavari District.

Women who have been in forefront of the struggle have been particularly targeted by the police to demoralise them. They have beaten up, threatened with rape, abused in vile language, dragged out of their huts to be bundled into waiting police vans and dumped in the jail. Tellam Krishnaveni of Patachimalavarigudem was jailed for 22 days for standing up to the police. Police raided her house, took away Rs. 4015/- she had collected as leader of the self-help group of women sponsored by the central government, and beat her up black and blue. Mudiyam Bangaramma of Tatiakulagudem was wearing her sari after a bath when police barged in, dragged her half-dressed and dumped in a police van. In the melee, she cried out for a sari and a girl hearing her screams brought her a sari which she remained for a month in jail. A series of police raids on tribals last month saw several villages empty as the tribals stated in fields and forests to escape the police wrath. Section 144 has been in force in the area for the past 15 months in view of the volatile situations.

 

 

Latest Reports

A ‘MOVEMENT’ FOR PEACE IN AGENCY

 

-The Hindu, September 30, 2002

By Our Staff Reporter

ELURU, SEPT.29. In a bid to buy peace with adivasis, non-tribals hae launched a ‘bhoodan movement’ in the agency villages of West Godavari district under the aegis of the police.

The movement seems to have all the trappings of the one promoted by Vinobha Bhave with an objective to bringing about ‘parivartan’ (change) among landlords. Even as the police claim that the movement was evoking good response from both tribals and non-tribals, the revenue authorities are questioning such gesture without going into the legal status of the lands being relinquished by non-tribals.

Meanwhile, the SP undertook a counseling by appealing to both adivasis and non-tribals to wean themselves away from internecine fights for land. In this connection, he offered to lift 66 cases involving nearly 300 people, mostly from the tribals. The nature of cases included attempt to murder, abduction of public servants etc.

Dharbhagudem seemed to have been chosen for counseling by the police for the reason that it was once an epicentre for a bloody land struggle, spearheaded by ‘Shakti’, a non-governmental organisation.

 

 

Note on SLP arising out of Judgment
in W.P.No. 18347 of 2000 Dt. 12.12.2000

The Agency Laws in the State of A.P. had a long history. There were separate laws for Andhra Area and Telangana Area respectively. So far as Andhra area is concerned, under section 7 of the Agency Tracts Interest and Lands Transfer Act, 1917. Rules were framed regulating the Transfer of Land in the Agency Tracts of Ganjam. Vizagapatnam and Godavari Districts. The Agency Land in the West Godavari District is governed by the said Rules till a comprehensive legislation called, A.P. Scheduled Areas Land Transfers Regulation. 1959 was enacted. The validity of the said Legislation was upheld in the decision reported in AIR 1988 SC 1626. However, it was held in the decision reported in AIR 1996 SC 224, it was held that the said Legislation, as amended by Regulation 1 of 1970, is prospective in operation.

Under Sub-Section 2(a) of Section 3, Power is given to the Agent/Agency Divisional Officer/or any other prescribed officer to take up suo motu any transfer of immovable property in contravention of the provisions of the Act. Broadly, there are three types of classes of land in Agency Areas of West Godavari District viz., (1) land belonging to the Tribals succeeded by them through their forefathers (2) the land under the erstwhile Estates which were abolished after the Constitution came into force and (3) other lands held by the Government. In all these three types of lands if any transfer takes place in contravention of the provisions of the Act, the other authorities can exercise their suo motu power.

SAKTI, a voluntary organisation is working in the Agency Area of Andhra Pradesh including the are in West Godavari District. During the course of its work, it came to know that this suo motu power exercised by the authorities is helping the non tribals in an indirect manner. For example the authorities take up suo motu proceedings against the non tribals and closing those cases either overlooking the provisions of the Regulation or non application of mind to the facts of the case. The Tribals, due to their ignorance are not filing appeals in respect of tribal lands and the Government due to its lethargy is not following up the cases by filing appeals. It is resulting in the settlement of non tribals in the agency areas contrary to the spirit of the enactments since 1917 and also giving legitimacy to their rights over the land. In order to curb this practice the voluntary organisations filed the above W.P. No. 18347 of 2000 seeking a direction from the Hon’ble High Court to the Government to pursue the cases closed by the Primary Authority who has taken up suo motu proceedings, by filing appeals where genuine reasons exist for pursuing them in appeal and, infact, the organisations volunteered to cooperate with the Government. But it was turned down holding that it is for the persons aggrieved to prefer an appeal or not to do so totally dis-regarding the propose and concept behind the legislations and the Administration or Scheduled areas. The Court merely upheld the general principles applicable to the suo motu proceedings but has not seen the purpose and intent of the legislation.

In this factual background, the above case is recommended for filing Special Leave Petition before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The papers filed before the Hon’ble High Court of A.P. along with a copy of the Regulations and Order are enclosed herewith.

 

 


 

Note on the documents in S.R.No. 293/93:

 

Ex.R1 Agreement was executed on 30.9.1968 by Nukala Govinda Rao in favour of G.Venkata Ratnam on a stamp paper worth Rs. 10/-. The document is insufficient stamped. The document does not contain the particulars of the sale deed by Dakarapu Seethamma in favour of Nuka Govinda Rao alleged to have taken place on 5.6.68. On the other hand Ex.R4. E.C.No. 1134 of 93 discloses that the document bearing No.704/68 was executed by Dakarapu Seethamma, Durgamma. Rama Rao, in favour of N.Govinda Rao on 5.6.68. The relationship of those persons (Vendors) to the pattedar Maddisetti Ramana whose name figures in Ex. R2 is not established. Further, Ex.R4 contains several other transactions on 2.9.68, 2-12-86 and 17.10.1992 in Column No.3 which were not taken note by the Special Deputy Collector in S.R.No.293/93. It is not known why Ex.R5 and R6 which are of the year 1991-92 continues to reflect the name of respondents in 1968 itself. These material facts have not been taken note by the Special Deputy Collctor while deciding S.R.No. 293 of 1993 and they were purposely ignored. As a result no appeal was filed against the said Order and the said Order has become final indirectly giving legal title to the land which the Vendee/Respondent Gade Venkata Ratnam does not possess.

 

 

K.SUKUMARAN
S e n i o r A d v o ca t e                                                          Kochi Office:
S u p r e m e C o u r t                                                             M/s. Sukumaran & Usha
Residence: 182, Supreme Enclave                                         Advocates, Providence Road
Mayur Vihar, Phase – 1                                                          K o c h I - 6 8 2 0 1 8
New Delhi – 110 091                                                              Ph: 0484 – 392381, 395104
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                              E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Date: 17.02.2001.

My Dear Ramalingeswara Rao,

I refer to your letter dated 12.01.2001 and enclosures thereto.

I have studied the papers carefully. I feel that Sakti has done yeomen service for the cause of the Tribals.

The High Court of Andhra Pradesh has taken very narrow view of the liberal scheme of the Constitution of India which has given great emphasis on the protection weakest sections in the society. The Directive Principles of State Policy also loudly proclaim that objective.

It may be necessary to demonstrate the patent illegality through production of typical order of the Special Tahsildar, by producing a copy of it along with a separate petition for prosecution of the additional document.

Whether, in a case where High Court has already exercised its discretion, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under the Article 136 should be invoked, is a question likely to be posed by the Court.

If, however, ground realities are noticed, the Court can, and in the present circumstances ought to, direct the State and its authorities in whom statutory powers are conferred on trust, to scrutinise the matters carefully.

The order of the High Court does not even attempt to do so. As you have correctly pointed out the attitude may be justified with reference to proceeding relating to the general litigations. There is, however, substantial difference in the cause, that is now sought to be espoused by an organisation which has established its credibility, as detailed in the Writ Petition.

The Special Leave Petition has been settled by me, for being filed in the Supreme Court.

I feel that the matter should be also placed before President of India, who is the constitutional custodian of the interests of the Tribals. That can be pursued independently of the Special Leave Petition.

I would personally like to visit one such Tribal area in the Godavari belt, whenever I could spare some time from the pressures of the professional work in the Supreme Court. Perhaps, during one of the trips to Hyderabad.

With warm regards,

Yours sincerely,

(JUSTICE K. SUKUMARAN).

To

A. Ramalingeswara Rao, B.Com., LL.M.,
Advocate, 3-6-550/5, 2nd Floor, 7th Street,
Himalaya Nagar, Hyderabad – 500 029.

P.S.: I met many retired District Judges From Hyderabad in connection with hearing of Cases relating to Shetty Commission Recommendation.

 

 


 

NON-TRIBAL RYOTS GET RELIEF

- THE HINDU, Friday, April 7, 2000.

By our Staff Reporter.

ELURU, APRIL 6. Non-tribal farmers received substantial relief from the judgment given by the High Court on land disputes recently.

A bench comprising the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan, and Mr. Justice R. Ramanujam, stayed the orders of the single judge, Mr. Justice Swamy, who in his earlier order appointed a court commissioner to oversee the implementation of tribal law. A non-tribal farmer, Mr. P. Srihari, challenged the appointment of the court commissioner (a retired district judge) on the ground that they had been subjected to harassment by repetition of title verification process.

In another order, a bench comprising Mr. Justice Ghulam Mohammad, assailed the decision of the Mandal Revenue Officer to reopen the cases already disposed of by the Special Deputy Collector, who is superior to him. Responding to the petition filed by Mrs. Gadde Hymavathi, a non-tribal land owner, the court held that the officer had no power to review the order of the quasi-judicial authority passed in 1992. The court made an important observation that the authorities could not go in appeal in the upper court (agent’s court) now because of lapse of long time.

The decision of the High Court would curtail the freedom of the revenue authorities now to file cases indiscriminately against non-tribals to prove their ownership. If the land happened to be reviewed by the Special Deputy Collector earlier, fresh cases could not be filed now or could not be appealed in the upper court if the time lapse is more.

 

 

   

 

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. 

        

INDIRA SAGAR (POLAVARAM) CENTRAL EMPOWERED COMMITTEE ORDER

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

FORESTS ARE RESERVOIRS OF WATER AND LUNGS OF OUR ENVIRONMENTS.

SAVE THEM FROM MINING AND DESTRUCTION.

Click here to Bauxite Case: Read full article.