Kumram Bheem Asifabad: Authorities of the Kaghaznagar Forest Division on Sunday brought the elders of 16 families of aboriginal tribes, who encroached upon a reserved forest area in Gondi village, to the Hyderabad High Court for a case hearing.
Acting on a High Court order, the Forest authorities brought the elders to the city in a private bus and presented them in court. “They were accompanied by the District Tribal Welfare Officer and a headmaster of a school. They were produced before the Chief Justice of the court on Sunday evening,” District Forest Officer L Ranjith Naik told Telangana Today.
The authorities had evicted the families from the reserved forest area and shifted them to a timber depot nearby on June 11. Earlier, the High Court instructed the authorities to present them before it when Civil Liberties Forum president G Laxman moved the court on Saturday. It issued an order asking the Kaghaznagar Forest Divisional Officer to arrange for the transport to bring the tribals to Hyderabad. It found fault with the Forest Department for keeping the aboriginal tribes in the depot.
It may be recalled that the authorities of the Forest Department evicted the families for illegally living in the reserved forest of the Kaghaznagar range and bulldozed their huts. They alleged that 100 acres of forest was cleared by the settlers since 2014. The authorities also sent the families notices and gave them ample time to vacate.
But, they drew flak for shifting the tribals from the village to the depot. The evicted families lamented that they were struggling to live under the trees following lack of basic amenities. They alleged that they were starved and were forced to sleep on logs, and that women and children were bearing the brunt.
Telangana asked to construct houses for Adivasis
Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court in a special sitting on Sunday directed the government to allot lands and complete construction of houses for 67 Adivasis. As reported earlier, the Bench of Acting Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Shameem Akhtar were hearing a habeas corpus writ petition filed by Civil Liberties Committee complaining that 67 Adivasis belonging to about 16 families were being illegally detained in the forest timber depot in Vempally of Adilabad district.
The Bench had requested professors of the Osmania University who knew the tribal language of Gond tribe to assist them in the matter. The State government on Saturday had informed the court that the Tribals were not detained but were voluntarily staying at the place stated. The Bench did not accept the theory of the State government. Earlier in March, the High Court had directed the State government to provide rehabilitation to the Adivasis. Appearing for the government, Manoj Kumar contended that the Adivasis were occupying government land as they were not in possession of the said land prior to 2006. The Bench directed the government to allot lands to the Tribal people within six months and construct houses for them in a year and in the meantime, they are to be given food and accommodation at a hostel.