The main laws governing the forest lands are the Indian Forest Act, 1927, Orissa Forest Act, 1972, Wildlife protection Act, 1972 and Forest Conservation Act, 1980. None of these laws permit shifting cultivation, the mainstay of tribal food production system and in fact specifically forbid it. This, along with faulty processes of notification of forests has meant that large number of shifting as well as permanent cultivators have had their traditional lands categorized as forests, and thereby have been declared as forest encroachers......... more
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