Stay on forest dwellers eviction: How states illegally rejected land claims

On February 13, 2019, the SC ordered that all households whose rights claims under FRA have been rejected should be evicted from forests by July 2019. It later stayed its own order on February 28

forest dwellers

Nihar Gokhale | IndiaSpend Rajasthan
Breaking the law isn’t something one is usually proud of. But for Devi Lal, a resident of a forest village in southern Rajasthan, a court summons for encroaching on forest land in 2002 is a prized possession.
A quiet, tall man dressed in a dhoti, kurta and a colourful turban, the 64-year-old from an indigenous community called Bhils, proudly showed off the terse order--neatly laminated and stored in a bag--that demanded his presence before a forest official’s court, where he would stand trial.
Since the Forest Rights Act (FRA) was introduced in 2006, these summons became evidence that Devi Lal had lived on the land in question before that, and became vital evidence to support his claim

First Published: Mar 02 2019 | 09:24 AM IST

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