Over 250 tribals in Valparai in Coimbatore were on Monday stopped from taking out a march to the city to press for their long-pending demands, police said.
The demands were: provision of rights on forest, patta (deed) for their habitats, land for agriculture and also alternative place in reserved forest areas.
The tribals, including women, from 16 settlements gathered to march to the city, covering 120 km in the early hours of Monday, and petition the Collector on their demands.
However, a large number of police deployed there prevented them from proceeding and all of them squatted in front of a Gandhi statue, later detained in a marriage hall, police said.
The representatives of Kadar, Malaisar, Irular Muthuvar, Pulaiyar communities decided to reach the city and petition the Collector for rights on forest, patta (deed) for their habitats, land for agriculture, among others.
The communities had already discussed the issue with Valparai MLA Kasthuri Vasu and local district officials on the issue.
Their problem started after Valparai being announced as Tiger Reserve, due to which their rights on forests and to move in and around were curtailed.
They decided to walk 120 km after the communities lost their trust in the government officials and the system. All those who detained were released later, police said.
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