Based on the Supreme Court's interim observation in the Godavarman case, the Ministry of Environment & Forests, GOI had issued a directive on May 3, 2002 to all State Governments to summarily evict all illegal encroachment of forestlands before September 30, 2002. According to the Government all the tribals without valid land titles before 1980 had to be evicted. In Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Assam some 2 lakh tribals have become victims of this direction of the NDA Government. Some accounts of eviction (after the May 3, 2002 directive) related incidents described below (source: Saxena, Kumar, others) will move any human being, but the State Governments and the Central Government are even prepared to ignore the minimum humanitarian considerations......... more
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