Ten days after the officials of the state forest department illegally demolished the houses and livelihood sources of Adivasis in the name of an eviction drive, Adivasi women and men of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS) staged a massive demonstration against the Forest Department and District Administration Khandwa on July 20.
Protestors have demanded immediate action and arrests of officials responsible for the illegal evictions and looting of Adivasi families. For the homeless families, immediate distribution of dry rations and monetary compensation for the losses incurred pic.twitter.com/5wcVT59yWA
— Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (@JADS_mp) July 21, 2021
Enraged Adivasis made their way to the DC office via the DFO office and the MP Forest Development Corporation District Office, where the forest department had illegally assaulted and confined three Adivasis along with three activists who were picked up during the illegal eviction action of the Forest Department and were illegally detained for over 10 hours on 10th July 2021.
Protesting Adivasis also pointed out the hypocrisy of the Forest Department and the state government illegally evicting Adivasis in the name of protecting forests, even as the Madhya Pradesh government plans to handover 382 hectares of forest land to cut at least 2.15 lakh trees and displace over 8,000 people for the sake of diamond mining in a region infamous for drought and water scarcity.
Protestors strongly opposed the loot and dacoity of 40 Adivasi families overseen by the forest department during their illegal eviction drive in Khandwa district. Many Adivasi activists who have been demanding action on illegal felling highlighted the connivance of the forest department with timber smugglers and those involved in illegal felling of trees while the Forest Department continuously makes Adivasis scapegoats of the same.
Raising slogans of ‘Adivasi hai toh jungle hai, jungle hai toh Adivasi hai ‘,’Van vibhag ki Tanashahi nahi chalegi’, protesting Adivasis also warned the administration that further violence by the administration will only force Adivasis to escalate their movement against the violence by the Forest Department.