RAIPUR: Tribals displaced from disturbed areas of Bastar in Chhattisgarh and now living in neighbouring states have demanded that they be legally settled wherever they are residing by the respective state governments.
The ‘internally displaced’ tribals had moved out in large numbers to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha some 14-15 years ago at the height of Maoist violence, after being caught in the “war” between the Naxals and security forces. Most of them do not want to return to the disturbed area.
The displaced tribals have now invoked clause 3:1 of the Forest Rights Act 2005, seeking in situ rehabilitation, saying that they do not want to return to Chhattisgarh owing to Maoist terror.
“Even if we consume two chapatis less, at least we can sleep peacefully in the neighbouring states. We may not have any land as forest dwellers in such states, but at least we are safe”, said Hasi Nagesh, who migrated from Dantewada to Andhra Pradesh.
Around 350 such internally displaced persons from AP, Telangana and Odisha assembled here to raise their demands. “They have launched a campaign from Konta and are filling up Forest Rights Act forms seeking exchange of their land in Chhattisgarh with the one to which they have migrated”, said activist Shubranshu Chowdhary, who is engaged with the campaign.