Hosanagara tribes to be evicted from forests

The forest officers of Hosanagara tell forest dwellers to leave their homes.

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An encroachment site in the village
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One of the residents of encroached huts
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encroached site
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Animals grazing
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Fencing by the residents

 

Bangalore, November 22, 2017: The forest dwellers of Hosanagara were threatened on 11 November in order to leave their respective houses stating that land belonged to the government.

Krishna A. Gowda, the Forest Range Officer of Nagara said, “We have been directed by the government to take complete control over these lands as they are soon to be considered under ‘restricted forest areas’. We are just following orders”.  He added that the people are using the forest land irresponsibly and that this has endangered the wildlife of the forest.

Gowda also informed that a particular procedure has to be completed from the side of the government before declaring it as ‘restricted forest area’. This procedure has been completed nearly 80 per cent, due to which the forest departments have got the direction to take charge of the land. But, the forest dwellers said that not a single official announcement has been made stating that the land no longer comes under the ‘land of forest for public use’.

While The Forest Act of 1927 clearly gives permission to the government to declare a land to be partially reserved with full control of respective forest departments on an urgent basis, the Forest Act of 2006 allows the forest dwellers to use the forest land for their own purposes.

Priyachand, one among them who owned a hut in the forest of Nagara said, “They came in the morning and told us to vacate this land as it is no longer considered to be among open forest areas. We did not know about this as nobody from the government made any official announcements.”

Many other parts includingKarimane, Malali, Kairbanda, Khyrugundha, Nittur, Sampekatte, Sonale, and Yadur  have been involved in this dispute  for many years. The tribes are forced to wander from place to place as they are threatened frequently by the forest officers. They have to leave their cultivated land and  start from  scratch.

Another area Arasalu, in Hosanagara, had also faced the same problem a month ago and the tribes had to shift to other places
This legal tug-of-war has been leading to altercations between the forest authorities and the tribes for many years.

 
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