Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang

Prosecute Those Who Grab Land from Adivasis and Dalits under Atrocities Act: NCST

by , 12 May 2017

NCST Instructs Action Against Accused in Kunkuni Land Dispute Raigarh DM, SSP and DRM, Bilaspur appears before NCST 
 

On 9 May, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) directed action to be taken under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act – a special law to protect the rights of Dalit and Adivasi people – in cases where Adivasi land was transferred to other people through forgery. The order follows recent allegations that over 300 acres (121 hectares) of Adivasi land had been unlawfully transferred to non-Adivasis in Kunkuni village, Raigarh between 2009 and 2015. A farmer named Jailal Rathiya who had filed a petition in the Chhattisgarh High Court in relation to the transfer was found dead in March 2017.

The Order has great significance given the assault on forest lands especially in Jharkand and Chhattisgarh. The Orders says:

"The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has instructed the District Magistrate of Raigarh in Chhattisgarh to provide the current status of action taken against the indulging officers and employees found accused in the illegal land transfer cases. The instruction was given in a meeting held under the Chairmanship of Shri Nand Kumar Sai, Chairman, NCST New Delhi. The Commission has also asked to return the land taken against rules to the original owners and speedy disposal of cases under sections 170(1&2) of Chhattisgarh land revenue manual. The same has to be intimated to the Commission immediately. It was also instructed that information should also be furnished about the actual payment made to the real land owners in such cases wherein land transfer was done after the permission of District Magistrate. Commission has also directed to cancel such nominations in cases where DM’s permission was not accorded. The same should also be returned back in revenue records. Action should also be taken to identify the Benami purchase of land. 

"The Commission directed the Senior Superintendent Police of the District to enquire into the circumstances of the death of Jailal Rathiya on the basis of available evidences and also whom he met before the death and the people he visited. Enquiry should also be done about the threat given to him. Commission asked the police to enquire into his mobile calls details and persons accompanying him. 

"The Commission directed officers to take action under SC and ST (Eradication of Atrocities) Act 1989 in cases wherein the land of ST persons were transferred in the name of persons of other community by forgery and its information should be sent to the Commission. 

"The Commission gave necessary directions to DRM Bilaspur to provide detailed information regarding cases of land acquisition/ purchase- sale from persons of ST community for Railways siding. 

"It may be noted that Jailal Raithiya who brought into light the 300 acre land dispute in the Kunkuni village of Raigarh District died suddenly on March 17, 2017 under mysterious circumstances. As per media reports the deceased tribal activist leader had opened front against land mafia. It was alleged that his body was cremated without carrying out postmortem. 

Amnesty International Welcomes Decision on Unlawful Land Transfers

A recent order by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to the District Magistrate in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh directing action in cases of unlawful transfer of Adivasi land is a positive move, said Amnesty International India today.

“The dispossession of Adivasi land without their free, prior and informed consent is widespread in Chhattisgarh. The NCST’s recognition that this amounts to a crime against Adivasi communities is a welcome development,” said Karthik Navayan, Programmes Manager, Business and Human rights at Amnesty International India.  

“Government authorities must Protect Adivasi rights and bring to book those who violate the law.” Several members of local communities in villages in Raigarh have told Amnesty International India that they had been forced into selling their land through threats, intimidation, coercion and misinformation.

The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, (PoA Act) criminalizes the wrongful dispossession or interference with the lands of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. In January 2016, Parliament passed an amendment to the Act, which, among other things, inserted an explainer stating that the word “wrongfully” included dispossession or interference done “against the person’s will”, “without the person’s consent”, or “with the person’s consent where such consent has been obtained by putting the person, or any other person in whom person is interested, in fear of death or hurt”.

In June 2016, the Kerala police registered a First Information Report under the PoA Act against officials of a Coca-Cola subsidiary for alleged pollution and groundwater exploitation.  The NCST order also highlights the intimidation and threats faced by human rights activists. An independent and impartial investigation must be conducted by authorities into the death of Jailal Rathiya. The NSCT also directed authorities to ensure that unlawfully transferred land to return to its original owners.

Under international human rights law and standards, states have an obligation to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consent on decisions that affect them. This right is recognized in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and also by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which India is a state party.

Indian laws such as the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act also require authorities to consult, and in some cases seek the consent of, Adivasi communities before acquiring or using land. However laws such as the Coal Bearing Act Areas Act ignore this right, undermining communities’ security of tenure.  
 

Related Articles:
 

Prosecute Those Who Grab Land from Adivasis and Dalits under Atrocities Act: NCST

NCST Instructs Action Against Accused in Kunkuni Land Dispute Raigarh DM, SSP and DRM, Bilaspur appears before NCST 
 

On 9 May, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) directed action to be taken under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act – a special law to protect the rights of Dalit and Adivasi people – in cases where Adivasi land was transferred to other people through forgery. The order follows recent allegations that over 300 acres (121 hectares) of Adivasi land had been unlawfully transferred to non-Adivasis in Kunkuni village, Raigarh between 2009 and 2015. A farmer named Jailal Rathiya who had filed a petition in the Chhattisgarh High Court in relation to the transfer was found dead in March 2017.

The Order has great significance given the assault on forest lands especially in Jharkand and Chhattisgarh. The Orders says:

"The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has instructed the District Magistrate of Raigarh in Chhattisgarh to provide the current status of action taken against the indulging officers and employees found accused in the illegal land transfer cases. The instruction was given in a meeting held under the Chairmanship of Shri Nand Kumar Sai, Chairman, NCST New Delhi. The Commission has also asked to return the land taken against rules to the original owners and speedy disposal of cases under sections 170(1&2) of Chhattisgarh land revenue manual. The same has to be intimated to the Commission immediately. It was also instructed that information should also be furnished about the actual payment made to the real land owners in such cases wherein land transfer was done after the permission of District Magistrate. Commission has also directed to cancel such nominations in cases where DM’s permission was not accorded. The same should also be returned back in revenue records. Action should also be taken to identify the Benami purchase of land. 

"The Commission directed the Senior Superintendent Police of the District to enquire into the circumstances of the death of Jailal Rathiya on the basis of available evidences and also whom he met before the death and the people he visited. Enquiry should also be done about the threat given to him. Commission asked the police to enquire into his mobile calls details and persons accompanying him. 

"The Commission directed officers to take action under SC and ST (Eradication of Atrocities) Act 1989 in cases wherein the land of ST persons were transferred in the name of persons of other community by forgery and its information should be sent to the Commission. 

"The Commission gave necessary directions to DRM Bilaspur to provide detailed information regarding cases of land acquisition/ purchase- sale from persons of ST community for Railways siding. 

"It may be noted that Jailal Raithiya who brought into light the 300 acre land dispute in the Kunkuni village of Raigarh District died suddenly on March 17, 2017 under mysterious circumstances. As per media reports the deceased tribal activist leader had opened front against land mafia. It was alleged that his body was cremated without carrying out postmortem. 

Amnesty International Welcomes Decision on Unlawful Land Transfers

A recent order by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to the District Magistrate in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh directing action in cases of unlawful transfer of Adivasi land is a positive move, said Amnesty International India today.

“The dispossession of Adivasi land without their free, prior and informed consent is widespread in Chhattisgarh. The NCST’s recognition that this amounts to a crime against Adivasi communities is a welcome development,” said Karthik Navayan, Programmes Manager, Business and Human rights at Amnesty International India.  

“Government authorities must Protect Adivasi rights and bring to book those who violate the law.” Several members of local communities in villages in Raigarh have told Amnesty International India that they had been forced into selling their land through threats, intimidation, coercion and misinformation.

The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, (PoA Act) criminalizes the wrongful dispossession or interference with the lands of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. In January 2016, Parliament passed an amendment to the Act, which, among other things, inserted an explainer stating that the word “wrongfully” included dispossession or interference done “against the person’s will”, “without the person’s consent”, or “with the person’s consent where such consent has been obtained by putting the person, or any other person in whom person is interested, in fear of death or hurt”.

In June 2016, the Kerala police registered a First Information Report under the PoA Act against officials of a Coca-Cola subsidiary for alleged pollution and groundwater exploitation.  The NCST order also highlights the intimidation and threats faced by human rights activists. An independent and impartial investigation must be conducted by authorities into the death of Jailal Rathiya. The NSCT also directed authorities to ensure that unlawfully transferred land to return to its original owners.

Under international human rights law and standards, states have an obligation to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consent on decisions that affect them. This right is recognized in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and also by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which India is a state party.

Indian laws such as the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act also require authorities to consult, and in some cases seek the consent of, Adivasi communities before acquiring or using land. However laws such as the Coal Bearing Act Areas Act ignore this right, undermining communities’ security of tenure.  
 

Related Articles:
 

Related Articles

Migrant Diaries


In Focus

In Focus

Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Subscribe to District Magistrate in Raigarh