Tribals displaced to be rehabilitated in situ.

NEW DELHI: Tribes that migrated from Chhattisgarh to neighboring states due to the increase of Naxalite violence will be rehabilitated on alternative lands to their original abode. The tribal affairs union ministry said this at a meeting with () on Tuesday.

The NCST convened a meeting of representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Union, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the governments of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Maharashtra. However, only NCST officials, the tribal affairs ministry and the Chhattisgarh government attended the meeting headed by the committee chairman.

The representative of the ministry of tribal affairs, JS Kochhar, told TOI that, although in principle the government agreed, it would be implemented only after there was an adequate internal survey and identification.

Clause 3.1.m refers to on-site rehabilitation, which allows displaced tribes to apply for an alternative land in another place against the land they owned before 2005.

The ministry has already ordered the investigation and verification of the people who were displaced from Chhattisgarh and migrated to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and other states due to the Naxalite violence.

According to a Raipur-based NGO, CGNet Swara Foundation, there are around 5,000 displaced families (30,000 people) living in about 250 settlements, mainly in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

They have moved 50 or 100 kilometers from where they lived when violence intensified. These are the poorest people in our country who do not live in anyone's land. Most do not have ration cards, voting cards or documents to prove their citizenship. They do not have access to basic facilities in the places where they now live. They are treated as outsiders and are paid lower wages. In their new place where they have cleared some forests to cultivate, they have been told that the state called Telangana or Andhra Pradesh is new and according to their schedules they are not adivasi and can not apply for Forest Rights, said Shubhranshu Choudhary, who heads CGNet to TOI.

The majority of internally displaced people, Choudhary, who attended the NCST meeting, said they do not want to return to their native villages because they are in the deep jungle still controlled by the Maoists.

After the Bhupesh Bhagel Congress government came to power in Chhattisgarh last November, some of the internally displaced tribes visited the state for the first time in 15 years. 300 internally displaced tribes cycled 300 km from Bastar to the capital, Raipur, demanding on-site rehabilitation.

Last month, for the first time in 15 years, under an initiative called the New Peace Process, internally displaced people celebrated Pen Pandum (Festival of God in the Gondi language.) Each tribal village has a village God and the gathering of village gods celebrated as a festival). ) in Konta on the bank of the Shabari River. In Konta, which is at the crossroads of the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, internally displaced people also filled out their forest rights forms, Choudhary said.

They expect the governments of their host states to grant them the rights to the land they cultivate against the land they owned in Chhattisgarh before 2005, he said.

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