Tamil Nadu: Forcible Eviction of Tribal Families in Dharmapuri District

On 22 May 2024, the Indian Rights and Advocacy Council (IRAC) filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) regarding the forcible eviction of 15 tribal families by the forest department in the Pennagaram-Hogenakkal forest area, Dharmapuri district, Tamil Nadu. The eviction, which took place on 10 May 2024, targeted the “Poorvakudis” tribal community, who have been residing in the area for generations.

According to media reports, a large contingent of forest officials and police participated in the eviction, resulting in significant property damage and the demolition of a titled roof hutment. The eviction process involved forcibly dragging out women and children without providing alternative shelter or basic amenities. Women who resisted the eviction were threatened, and at least three women were injured and required hospital treatment.

IRAC has highlighted this incident as a serious human rights violation and has requested urgent intervention from the NHRC. The actions requested include directing the Tamil Nadu State Government to immediately stop further evictions, conduct a thorough investigation, and submit an action taken report within two weeks. Additionally, IRAC has called for the provision of alternative shelter, food, clothing, drinking water, medicine, and other basic amenities to the evicted families. They also demand that action be taken against the forest and police officials responsible for the eviction and that compensation be provided to the affected families.