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Madhya Pradesh forest department staff treats tribal squatters savagely

Forest department personnel behaved inhumanly with primitive Saharia tribals while clearing encroachments on reserve forest land in Guna district, a probe has found.

Published: 02nd December 2017 07:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd December 2017 07:52 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: Forest department personnel behaved inhumanly with primitive Saharia tribals while clearing encroachments on reserve forest land in Guna district, a probe has found. The probe held by a district administration team has revealed that over 100 forest department staff not only cleared the encroaching tribals from Rampur reserve forest area on November 15, but kicked and slapped them, snatched food from children and burnt down makeshift huts. Women were not spared.

The employees raided the area when the Saharia tribals, numbering around 50, were having food outside their huts. They dismantled the earthen ovens on which food was being cooked and flung foodgrain and cooked food on the ground.

Suraj, a 14-year-old boy, told the probe team that his chapatti was snatched from him before he was beaten up. After clearing out the squatters and demolishing/burning their huts, the forest department personnel lodged a case against the tribals at Bamori police station for allegedly attacking them.

“On-the-spot investigations have revealed inhuman acts by the forest department team with Saharia tribals, including women and children. Since an FIR has already been lodged against the tribals,  a thorough probe is essential into the foresters’ inhuman acts to ensure that one-sided action is not taken. So, we have recommended a probe by an additional SP-rank police officer into the alleged inhuman conduct of the forest department staffers with tribals,” Guna additional district magistrate Niyaz Khan told Express on Friday.

“Since the Saharia tribals cannot be rehabilitated on forest land, we are now scouting for other land in Guna district. The tribals hail from different parts of the same district,” said Khan. Having lost their homes, the Saharia tribals are living in the open at the moment. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered the probe after the tribals complained to him. A report has been submitted.

Ironically, data released by the National Crime Records Bureau on Thursday has revealed that Madhya Pradesh tops the country in crime against Scheduled Tribes.  The Saharias, along with the Baiga and Bharia tribes, are categorized as special primitive tribes in Madhya Pradesh. Candidates from these tribes were recently recruited as constables in the state police.

Ironically, data released by the National Crime Records Bureau on Thursday has revealed that Madhya Pradesh tops the country in crime against Scheduled Tribes.  The Saharias, along with the Baiga and Bharia tribes, are categorized as special primitive tribes in Madhya Pradesh. Candidates from these tribes were recently recruited as constables in the state police. Having lost their homes, the Saharia tribals are living in the open at the moment.

Chouhan ordered the probe after the tribals complained to him. A report has been submitted. The data released by the National Crime Records Bureau on Thursday has revealed that MP tops the country in crime against Scheduled Tribes.  The Saharias, along with the Baiga and Bharia tribes, are categorised as special primitive tribes in MP.



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