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India: Indian government prepares all-out assault on tribal rights

A huge program of militarization of India’s forests and tiger reserves, with thousands of officials routinely armed.

Wednesday 19 June 2019, by siawi3

Source:Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre, Dalits Media Watch
https://dgroups.org/groups/pmarc?ReturnUrl=%2fgroups%2fpmarc%2fdiscussions%2fvhsd6dq9

Indian government prepares all-out assault on tribal rights

19.06.19 05:41 (4 hours ago)

"One of the most massive human rights violations in the world is being
planned, with almost no voices outside India raised in opposition.”

The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples has
criticized the Supreme Court order, saying: “The basic premise of this
ruling, which treats tribal peoples as illegal residents of the forest, is
wrong — Indigenous Peoples are the owners of their lands and forests.” ...
"The militarization of India’s forests is being done under the guise of a
law, drafted with WWF, supposedly in aid of conservation. One of the most
massive human rights violations in the world is being planned, with almost
no voices outside India raised in opposition.”

Akash Orang, a seven year old tribal boy, was maimed for life after being
shot by a guard in Kaziranga National Park. The park has a shoot on sight
policy. © Survival

Indian government prepares all-out assault on tribal rights - Survival
International
Video here http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/12153

A meeting taking place in Delhi tomorrow could determine the fate of eight
million tribal people and other forest dwellers in India.

The talks between states and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs follows
February’s hugely controversial Supreme Court order to evict millions of
people whose land rights claims have been rejected.

The next Supreme Court hearing in the case will be on 24 July, when the
court may once again order the eviction of millions of people. This comes
at a time when India’s tribal peoples are facing an unprecedented assault
on their rights.

India’s new Minister of Environment and Forests, who has spoken in support
of shoot on sight policies, will also try to push through a draft
amendment to the British-era Indian Forest Act. The proposed changes have
been described as even more draconian than the original.

The draft amendment, which was leaked to the press, was drafted by senior
forestry officials, lawyers and the CEO of WWF-India, Ravi Singh. The new
act includes:

- A huge program of militarization of India’s forests and tiger reserves,
with thousands of officials routinely armed.

- Forest Department officials given the right to shoot people to “prevent”
forest offences and enjoy virtual immunity from prosecution.

- Forest officers given the right to shoot, search, seize property, and
arrest citizens, while the burden of proving innocence would lie with the
accused.

– The undermining of groundbreaking legislation that sought to redress the
historical “injustices” to India’s tribal peoples. State governments able
to take away forest rights, in the name of conservation.

In India’s Kaziranga National Park a similar level of militarization and
impunity for guards resulted in 50 people being shot dead in three years
and a 7-year-old boy maimed for life. A recent Dutch documentary
highlighting abuses and evictions in Kaziranga, along with WWF’s support
for the park, is now available in English worldwide.

°

Victim of the WWF,

ZEMBLA - Onderzoeksjournalistiek,

May 24, 2019

VIDEO here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHH_vlhnC0I&feature=youtu.be

ZEMBLA investigates the collateral damage of the World Wildlife Fund’s
(WWF) battle for nature conservation. ZEMBLA discovers that WWF promotes
birth control programs that include contraception and even sterilization
for men and women. The fight against poachers is getting grimmer all the
time. ZEMBLA travels to India, where local inhabitants are wrongly accused
of poaching, are being tortured and sometimes even killed. On camera,
guards from Kaziranga National Park state that they are allowed to shoot
unwanted people.

_

The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples has
criticized the Supreme Court order, saying: “The basic premise of this
ruling, which treats tribal peoples as illegal residents of the forest, is
wrong — Indigenous Peoples are the owners of their lands and forests.”

Survival International Director Stephen Corry said today: “Colonial
conservation took three or four generations to steal the lands of about
10-15 million indigenous people throughout the world. India is now looking
to steal the lands and livelihoods of a further 8 million tribal and other
forest dwellers in a few months, and to shoot them if they try and go
back. The militarization of India’s forests is being done under the guise
of a law, drafted with WWF, supposedly in aid of conservation. One of the
most massive human rights violations in the world is being planned, with
almost no voices outside India raised in opposition.”