NCST takes note of tribals displaced in red corridor, calls meeting with Union home ministry, govts of Naxal-affected states

New Delhi: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) will hold a meeting on 2 July with the Union home and tribal affairs ministries on the issue of alleged displacement of tribals from Chhattisgarh due to Naxal violence and the demand for their rehabilitation in the state.

The commission has also asked the representatives of the governments of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, and Maharashtra to attend the meeting. It has called for a report from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the five states on the living conditions of the displaced tribals and to assess the gravity of the situation.

 NCST takes note of tribals displaced in red corridor, calls meeting with Union home ministry, govts of Naxal-affected states

Representational image. Reuters

"It has come to the notice of the commission through media reports that around 5,000 tribal families from the Bastar region, currently residing in adjoining states due to Left Wing Extremism, now want to return to Chhattisgarh, and are demanding rehabilitation and resettlement," the NCST said in a letter.

The commission also noted that individual and community forest rights claims of such families have also not been granted "either at their native place or at the place where they are residing for the last few years".

The report, focussing on the number of families residing in each state, their living conditions, source of livelihood and availability of various welfare schemes — housing, food security, drinking water, education, banking, and health facilities, should be submitted by 1 July, it said.

"The chairperson of the commission has decided to hold a meeting on 2 July with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, and the state governments concerned to further discuss these issues and sort out the problems being faced by the tribals," the letter said.

According to tribal rights activists, around 30,000 people, who fled Chhattisgarh due to Maoist violence, are living in 248 settlements in forests of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana and Maharashtra.

These tribals are living in deplorable conditions without any access to drinking water and electricity. They get lower wages. Most of them don't have ration cards or voter IDs and cannot prove their citizenship, the activists claim, adding these states don't recognize them as tribals.

They have no right over forest land and remain excluded from all social security benefits, they claim.

Updated Date: Jun 27, 2019 16:36:36 IST