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Maharashtra Government Destroys Tribal Homes

07 October, 2003

This is to bring to your immediate attention the plight of 200-adivasi families from Puntamba. On 21 July,2003 ,two hundreds adivasi huts and more than thousand acres of their crop were destroyed by the Maharashtra State Farming Corporation (MSFC) with support from the police. 200 adivasi families, including children and women (three of whom had just given birth) were rendered homeless in the pouring rain without any prior notice of demolition. An appeal on the right to the ownership of the land in question, filed by the Bhoomi Hakk Andolan Samiti (Land Rights Movement committee) is pending with the Revenue Commissioner at the Nashik.

Earlier when the adivasis under the banner of Bhumi Hakka Andolan had filed a writ petition in 2001 in the High court, the Aurangabad bench of Mumbai High court (2001 no.454/2001) directed the state government officials to follow the Supreme Court judgment of 1986 by stating "We further direct that till the cases of adivasis concerned are finally disposed off they shall not be dispossessed from the lands which are in their possession" The appeal regarding the encroachment is pending before the revenue department.

Without heeding the court order, many cases were filed against these occupants to drive them out of this land. In 2001 there was a police firing on the peaceful demonstration by dalits and adivasis who were protesting against the consistent harassments. During the firing one adivasi and one dalit were killed and many were injured.


By forcibly evicting the adivasis from their homes and destroying their crop the state has violated the adivasis right to life and livelihood and exposed them to the threat of hunger and malnutrition.

In the light of the grave circumstances presented above, we request you to write to the Chief Minister, Maharashtra, NHRC and SC and ST Commission to look into the demands of tribals who are on hunger strike at Rahata Tahasil Office.

In Solidarity,

Vijay Tendulkar
President, NCAS


Dr. Gnana Prakasam
ExecutiveDirector,NCAS

Address:

Shri Sushilkumar Shinde,
Chief Minister of Maharashtra,
6th floor, Mantralaya,
Mumbai, Maharashtra – 400 023

Fax: +91-22-23633272, +91-22-22029214

The Chairman, NHRC
Sardar Patel Bhavan
Sansad Marg
New Delhi 110001
Phone : 011 - 3348477/3340016 / 3361175
Fax : o11 - 3340016 /3366537

E mail : jrlawnhrc@hub.nic.in

The Chairman
SC / ST Commission
5(superscript:th) Floor, Loknayak Bhavan
Khan Market
New Delhi, 110003
Fax 011-4625378
Email : dir-admin@ncscst.nic.in

For More Information, You can contact:

Mr. John Abraham,
Bhumi Hak Andolan
At. Puntamba
Dist. Ahmad Nagar
Maharashtra
Phone No- 02423- 274282