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High Court order helps tribals heave a sigh of relief

Adilabad: Tribal families, who have been granted rights under the Forest Rights Act, have been cultivating forest lands for generations. Authorities, however, have been making attempts to drive them out of jungle. The tug of war between Forest officials and tribals over shift cultivation has been going on for decades. Adivasis continue to fight for right on the land in forests. The tribals fight for land has led to the Centre framing Forest Rights Act. The law states that all tribes cultivating in the forest prior to 1980 should be given land rights. Under the law, the government has issued land ownership documents to many people. But forest officials have been causing trouble to the tribals.

Recent incident of Forest officials forcibly evacuated the village and pulling down their houses, and taking 14 families comprising 67 people, including children, into their custody at Kolamloddiin Sirpur mandal in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. The civil rights leaders filed a case in the High Court and the court pulled up the officials for their attitude.

Following the High Court pulling up the officials, the drive to displace the tribals from their lands has been put on hold. Previously Forest officials attempted to evacuate villages in the name of tiger zone have been stopped due tribal agitation.

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