On 8 November 2021, around 145 Garo and Chakma tribal families were evicted by the forest department from Lumding reserve forest in Hojai district of Assam. The tribal victims included 55 Garo families at Paglabasti and 60 Garo and Chakma families in Hajibasti and 30 Garo families staying in the Langsipai area of the Lumding reserve forest.
The forced eviction of tribals from forest land is gross violation of the Forest Rights Act which provide right to live and hold forest rights to the Scheduled Tribals. It is pertinent to mention that on 29 July 2021, Justice A. K. Mishra, Chairperson of the NHRC stated that no tribal should be evicted without the settlement of his/her claim related to land rights.
The eviction of 145 Garo and Chakma tribal families from Lumding reserved forest without prior rehabilitation and resettlement is illegal and gross human rights violation of the tribal victims. On 11 November 2021, the Indiagenous Rights Advocacy Centre (IRAC) has moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking its immediate intervention by taking the following measures:
- Direct the state government of Assam to submit a report to the NHRC within four weeks about the forcible eviction of 145Garo and Chakma tribal families from Lumdingreserved forest without prior rehabilitation and resettlement;
- Direct the state government of Assam to provide compensation of Rs 10 lakh to each family and rehabilitation and resettlement to all the 145 Garo and Chakma tribal families who have been evicted from the Lumding reserved forests;
- Direct the State Government of Assam to provide land pattas to each of the 145 Garo and Chakma tribal families and all other facilities and documentation as Scheduled Tribes of Assam;