A tribal woman was murdered after rape in Nagatoli village of Rohtas by forest department officials and later murdered. A huge contingent of tribal women and men thronged in the procession organized on the call of Kaimur Mukti Morcha demanding the arrest of the person responsible for the murders on Friday, March 24.
The administration has banged every nail in the wall to distort the truth about the incident .The government has virtually conspired with the police department to save the forest officials.
There is absolute apathy for women, tribals and the poor in the eyes of the forest department, police administration and the state government.
To amass the profits of multinational companies, the central and state governments are mercilessly robbing the water-forest-land of tribal areas rich in natural wealth. The state makes women their first target to shatter the morale of the people to confront it.
The Kaimur Plateau is the largest wooded-hill region in the state of Bihar. Kaimur Plateau in Bihar consists of two districts, Kaimur and Rohtas. The total area here is 1800 square kilometers. It is principally inhabited by tribals.
People of Kharwar, Oraon, Chero, Agaria, Korwa tribal communities inhabit in Kaimur Plateau. Apart from this, non-traditional forest dwellers (people of other castes) also reside here.
The government wants to forcibly displace the tribals from Kaimur on the pretext that the tribals are a menace to water-forest-land and wildlife. Without the permission of the people of Kaimur mountain, the Kaimur plateau was converted into a wildlife sanctuary and now it has been declared as tiger reserve. The government is evicting the tribals on basis o tiger rearing.
The government is leaving no stone unturned in displacing the people of Kaimur plateau from their water-forest-land to obtain the profit of foreign imperialists, domestic and foreign capitalists.
There is no threat to the tigers or the forests from the tribals, but the government and the forest department have undertaken the task of destroying the forests since the British rule till date, in the name of well cutting (making coal from wood) and on other names. The remaining forests have been demolished by outsiders (wood mafia) with the patronage of the forest department when they came to the plateau.
Tribals have inhabited these forests for thousands of years along with tigers and other wild animals. The tigers have been mowed down by poachers and outside herdsmen in the presence of the forest department.
Tribals have protected the forests and offered in companionship with the animals. The Kaimur Plateau is being converted into a tiger reserve, not to protect the tigers, but to uproot the tribals from their living place and seize their water-forest-land.
. Kaimur Tiger Reserve is bing converted into the 53rd and largest Tiger Reserve of India. , encompassing 1342 square kilometers. This sanctuary is divided into 450 sq km core area and 850 sq km buffer area. Most of the villages in the central area are at risk of being dislodged.
The tribal and non-tribal people of Kaimur Plateau have declared that they under no conditions accept the tiger reserve and wildlife sanctuary on any terms, even if they have to forfeit every drop of their blood.
Kaimur Mukti Morcha handed over a memorandum of its demands to the Chief Minister through the District Magistrate. The front affirmed that if the people of Kaimur Plateau do not act on behest of the demands of the Bihar government at the earliest, then the tribals will intensify the protest.
Demands of Kaimur Mukti Morcha
- Arrest the rapists of Rajkali Oraon immediately and give them the harshest punishment.
- Give compensation of Rs 50 lakh to the family members of Rajkali Oraon.
- Make the post mortem report public.
- Abolish the wildlife sanctuary and tiger reserve from Kaimur Plateau immediately.
- Implement the Forest Rights Act 2006 with immediate effect.
- Declare the fifth schedule area while doing administrative reorganization of Kaimur Pahar.
- Implement the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act.
- Implement the profession law with immediate effect.
- Stop entering the Siwan of the village without the permission of the Gram Sabha.
- Stop snatching Tangi (axe) and dry wood from the tribals by the forest department.
- Stop uprooting people from agricultural land and planting trees in it.
- Stop banning forest produce, the traditional source of our livelihood.
- Stop trapping the public in fake cases and take back all the fake cases imposed on the public.
Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist who has covered mass movements around the country