A rally in demand of the implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA), Food Security Act (FSA) and MNREGA was carried out by hundreds of tribals, who had gathered in Ahmedabad from six districts of Gujarat. The tribals had also handed over a memorandum to the Ahmedabad collector, seeking land ownership under Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006.
The protest march was headed by the Eklavya Sangathan, who threw light on the demands of the protesters, who had come from the eastern belt districts of Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Mahisagar, Dahod and Panchmahals.
According to Eklavya Sangathan, only 40 per cent or 73,921 tribals have been given Jamin Adhikar Patras (land rights certificate). Whereas, the rightful claims under Forest Rights Act of as many as 1,08,948 others have been rejected for various reasons.
A total of 73921 (40.4%) farmers have been given such Adhikar Patras, according to the Gujarat government data.
"They cannot reject a claim, when an application is already verified by the Gram Sabha and submitted at block office," Bansi Solanki, the convener of the Eklavya organisation said.
The protesters also demanded their rights under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MNREGA) and Food Security Act (FSA).
"The tribals are being denied their rights under MNREGA and FSA also in tribal regions for years. We have been demanding our rights for several years but to no avail. We are giving Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani a last chance and hope he takes action. Otherwise, we will show our strength in the forthcoming general elections," Paulomee Mistry, general secretary of Eklayva Sangathan asserted.
(With agency inputs)