Jharkhand Human Rights Movement
C/o-Mr. Suleman Odeya, Near Don Bosci ITC Gate, Khorha Toli, Kokar,
Ranchi -834001. 0651-3242752 Email: jhrmindia@...
Ref: JHRM/PI/2013/01 Date: 01/05/2013
Sri Pranab Mukherjee,
President of India,
New Delhi – 110004
Sub: Requesting to protect the rights of the Scheduled Tribes
(Indigenous People of India) or to shoot all of them at once rather
than excluding, discriminating, exploiting, torturing and making them
landless, resourceless and beggars by alienating them from the natural
and livelihood resources in the name of growth and development.
1. It is extremely painful to state that I come from an Adivasi
(tribal) family, who was displaced by an irrigation project without
rehabilitation in 1980 and my parents were brutally murdered in 1990.
However, I was managed to survive. On 30th April, 2013, you have
inaugurated a power project of the Jindal Steel & Power Ltd at
Sundarpahari comes under Godda district of Jharkhand. However, it
seems that the tribal people were not allowed to put their concerns in
front of you. The tribal people of 11 villages had gathered near
Sundarpahari to raise their voices against the power project as some
of them had already been displaced during the construction of ‘Sundar
Dam’ and now they’ll again be displaced by the Jindal’s power project.
However, these tribals were detained in Sundarpahari police station
instead of hearing their plea. The question here is do they have right
to freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution?
The police have regularly been coercing the tribals who don’t want to
surrender their land to the Jindal Company. According to the Santal
Pargana Tenancy Act 1949, the land is non-transferable and
non-saleable, whether owned by tribals or non-tribals. But how the
tribals land is being bought by the Jindal Company? Is the Jindal
Company allowed to violet the rule of law?
2. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India through a writ petition (CIVIL)
NO. 180 OF 2011 (Orissa Mining Corporation Vs Ministry of Environment
& Forest & Others) has said that the Section 4(d) of the PESA Act 1996
says that every Gram Sabha shall be competent to safeguard and
preserve the traditions, customs of the people, their cultural
identity, community resources and community mode of dispute
resolution. Therefore, Grama Sabha functioning under the Forest Rights
Act read with Section 4(d) of PESA Act has an obligation to safeguard
and preserve the traditions and customs of the STs and other forest
dwellers, their cultural identity, community resources. The Court has
ordered the State Government to settle the matter with the Gram Sabha.
But is the case of Jindal Company, where is the role of Gram Sabha?
Why it has been undermined or put aside? Why did PESA Act 1996 not
enforced in this case? Is it because the head of the Jindal Steel &
Power Limited is one of the powerful leaders of the Congress Party?
3. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has also said through a writ
petition (CIVIL) NO. 180 OF 2011 (Orissa Mining Corporation Vs
Ministry of Environment & Forest & Others) that the Scheduled Tribes
have the Religious freedom guaranteed under Articles 25 and 26 of the
Constitution. It guarantees them the right to practice and propagate
not only matters of faith or belief, but all those rituals and
observations which are regarded as integral part of their religion.
The Court has ordered to protect and preserve the tribals’ deity.
However, in last 65 years of Indian democracy, thousands and thousands
of sacred groves, religions places and graveyards of tribals were
either submerged in Dams or destroyed in the name of development.
These are several sacred groves and religions places of the tribal
would be destroyed by the power project of the Jindal Company.
However, the question is do the tribals really have the freedom of
religion as the Apex Court has stated? Why is Government not upholding
the rule of law?
4. The tribal people have already lost more than 23 lakh acres of land
in Jharkhand in two ways - i) The major part of tribals’ land were
taken away from them in the name of growth and development and ii) the
non-tribals who came into the 5th Scheduled Area of Jharkhand for jobs
also grabbed a huge portion of the tribal land illegally after earning
huge money from the development projects and mining. Though the
Article 19 (d) & (e) allows the all citizens to move freely throughout
the territory of India and to reside and settle in any part of the
territory of India but sub-clause (5) also emphasizes that the state
can impose reasonable restrictions on the exercise of any of the
rights conferred by the said sub-clauses (d & e) for the protection of
the interests of any Scheduled Tribe. However, nothing has been done
in this regard to protect the tribal people. Consequently, the
population of the non-tribals is multiplying in the Scheduled areas
and the tribal population is rapidly declining.
5. The Jharkhand Government has signed more than 100 MoUs with
National and multi-National companies, who are grabbing the trabals
land illegally and the government is facilitating it instead of
protection the land rights of tribals. The Jharkhand Government has
also proposed for two industrial corridors under the Jharkhand
Industrial policy 2012. According to JIP-14 (a) State Govt. will
initiate necessary steps to promote / develop two industrial
corridors, namely Koderma – Bahragora and Ranchi-Patratu- Ramgarh
Road, where the efforts will be made to develop the corridor with 25
KM each side of 4 laning, which means, major part of the land will be
handed over to the corporate houses. If that happens then where will
the tribal people go? Do they have right to a dignified life?
6. On 5 January, 2011, the Apex Court of India while hearing on an
appeal (the special leave petition (Cr) No. 10367 of 2010 Kailas &
others Vs State of Maharashtra) said that the tribal people (Scheduled
Tribes or Adivasis), the Indigenous People of India but they were
slaughtered in large numbers, and the survivors and their descendants
were degraded, humiliated, and all kinds of atrocities inflicted on
them for centuries. They were deprived of their lands, and pushed into
forests and hills where they eke out a miserable existence of poverty,
illiteracy, disease, etc. And now efforts are being made by some
people to deprive them even of their forest and hill land where they
are living, and the forest produce on which they survive. Despite this
horrible oppression on them, the tribals of India have generally
(though not invariably) retained a higher level of ethics than the
non-tribals in our country. They normally do not cheat, tell lies, and
do other misdeeds which many non-tribals do. They are generally
superior in character to the non-tribals. The Apex Court said that it
is time now to undo the historical injustice to them. However, the
Indian Government has done nothing to protect them. Instead, it has
been facilitating in corporate land grab of the Adivasis (tribals or
Indigenous People) of India.
Since, you are the custodian of the tribal people of India, therefore,
I demand for following actions:
1. To order for investigation on detention of tribals and land grab by
the Jindal Steel & Power Limited in Sundar Pahari and also cancel the
Jindal’s power project as it is a severe threat to the existence of
the tribal people especially the Primitive tribes (Paharia) of Sundar
2. To investigate and cancel all the MoUs signed since 2000 without
consent of the Gram Sabha under PESA Act 1996 and also order for
withdrawal of the Industrial Police 2012 and order the state
administration to return the illegally acquired land of the tribals by
the corporate houses.
3. To order for a judicial inquiry in all the cases of illegal land
grabbed by the non-Adivasis in the Scheduled areas.
4. To order to stop the corporate to buy land by themselves and order
the Government to acquire land under the Santal Pargana Tenancy Act
1949 and Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act 1908 for development projects with
the consent of the Gram Sabha under PESA Act 1996.
5. To order the Government to enforce the rule of law i.e.
Constitutional provisions, 5th Schedule Area, PESA Act 1996, CNT Act
1908, SPT Act 1949, the Forest Rights Act 2006, etc.
Indeed, it’s necessary to take the above said steps to protect the
constitutional, legal and traditional rights of the tribal people.
However, if you are unable to protect us, I would humbly request you
to gather all the tribal people at a place and shoot them so that
you’ll get rid of us and could build this nation on the graveyards of
the tribal as per your dream.
The architect of the Modern India Pt. Jwaharlal Nehru’s Temples of
Modern India has turned into graveyards of the tribals (Indigenous
People of India). Therefore, in the next time whenever and wherever
you inaugurate such development project proposed on the tribals’ land,
please remembers that you are building this nation on the graveyards
of the Indigenous People of India.
I believe you understand my pain, anguish and sorrow. I hope to hear
your positive response. I shall be highly obliged to you for the same.
PS: See the pdf file too.