People living near Forests for 200 years or more asked to Evict their land:RTI

Budgam Dec 04 (KNS):Today on December 4th 2020 in connection with awareness campaign on Forest Rights Act 2006 , a delegation of Jammu & Kashmir RTI Movement visited Zilsidara Jabbad village in Chadoora,remotest village in District Budgam, Where they met several traditional Forest Dwellers in the village, particularly Chopans (Kashmiri Shepherds) who have been living in the area for more than 150 years.

In a Joint Statement they said that,These people were allocated some Forest land way back in late 1940's by Govt under Grow More Food Programme. Now after 72 years J&K Govt is asking them to surrender the same and Eviction Notices are being issued to them by the Forest Department.

On the other hand, the Govt claims to be Implementing Forest Rights Act (FRA-2006) which gives them legal protection for claiming Rights on Forest land already alloted many decades back. If the Govt is planning to Implement FRA 2006, then why harass such poor people ?,they questioned.

Was Article 370 abrogated to harass these poor Forest Dwellers ? Let Forest Deptt clear the land encroached by Hoteliers and Orchardists in recent past rather than harassing these traditional Forest Dwellers,they added((KNS).

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