Compensate tribals who lost land, says right to food panel
Article from Times of India, June 4, 2013
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The advisor of the commissioner in the right to food case, Clifton D'Rozario, has submitted a detailed report to the central government on malnutrition deaths in Attapadi and recommended urgent welfare measures to support the tribal community.
The report states the state government must constitute a special land tribunal to redress the grievances related to land alienations within one year.
"More than 10,000 acres of land have been found to be alienated from tribals, hence urgent action must be taken to compensate this alienation,'' the report points out.
The report suggests the state government must immediately undertake an exercise to identify all the lands illegally alienated from the tribals along with GIS maps and trace the ownerships.
"Tribal lands alienated through mortgaging need to be redeemed and restored. In cases where lands were actually purchased by non-tribals, the state government must compensate the non-tribals and restore the lands back to the tribals,'' the report says.
The study states that the tribal population decreased over a 50-year period - from 90.26% in 1951 to 40.98% by 2001.
Among the three tribal communities, Muduga tribe lost 85.58% of their original land with Irulas coming next, losing 77.68% and Kurumbas losing 0.78% land.
Tribal rights activists, who were part of the study, said the state should undertake biological fencing, that is, planting of shrubs, trees, and hedges under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and ensure that no further alienation of lands takes place.
"The state should file criminal cases, punishable under section 3(1)(v) of the prevention of atrocities act, against the non-tribals who have illegally usurped lands from tribals. The state should also provide all necessary support in a time-bound manner to revive and support the traditional and other agricultural practices of tribals on their lands,'' said Ajay kumar V, executive director of Rights, a human rights NGO that took part in the study.
See the article online : http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-06-04/thiruvananthapuram/39739708_1_tribals-lands-malnutrition-deaths