Denial of rehabilitation and title deeds under FRA to evicted tribal families in Tamil Nadu

Denial of rehabilitation and title deeds under FRA to evicted tribal families in Tamil Nadu

On 6 October 2021, the Indigenous Rights Advocacy Centre (IRAC) has submitted a complaint petition before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against denial of proper rehabilitation and pattas (title deeds )under Forest Rights Act to 23 evicted families of Kadar tribe living at Thaimundinear Valparaiin Coimbatore districtin Tamil Nadu.

Kadartribe members were evicted in August 2019 but not yet rehabilitated

In August 2019, 23 families belonging to Kadar tribe were evicted from Kallar settlement inside the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR).At that time, the Kadar tribals were evicted from Kallar settlement by the forest department with the support of the police and Revenue officials. These families were shifted to an unused quarter of a tea estate at Thaimudi near Valparai where they have been living since then.The authorities had assured them of proper resettlement and rehabilitation after eviction which was not fulfilled as of date.

Deniedof patta for homestead under FRA

Following the eviction, the tribal community sought an alternative location namelyTheppakulamedu which is three kilometres away from their previous settlement. On 6 March 2020, the  Gram Sabha passed a resolution to grant patta to the displaced Kadar tribal families under the Forest Rights Act, 2006 but the authorities of the ATR raised objections on the ground that Theppakulamedu falls under ‘critical tiger habitat’.

The denial of proper rehabilitation after eviction and denial of pattas under the Forest Rights Act to the displaced Kadar tribal families are violation of human rights.

IRAC, therefore, sought the immediate intervention of the National Human RightsCommission by taking the following measures:

  • Direct the Investigation Division of the NHRC to conduct a swift, thorough andeffective investigation into denial of rehabilitation and resettlement to the 23 evicted families of Kadar tribeliving at Thaimundi, and submit a report to the NHRC within four weeks;
  • Direct the state government of Tamil Nadu to grant/issue homestead pattas at Theppakulameduto the 23 Kadar tribal families under the Forest Rights Act;
  • Direct the state government of Tamil Nadu to properly resettle and rehabilitate all the 23 evicted tribal families by providing facilities such as housing, water, sanitation, roads, and schools, etc and provide NREGS cards, voter cards, Aadhaar cards, health insurance, among others.

Photo Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/kallar-kadar-tribals-demand-homestead-patta/article36799936.ece

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