#India- Tribal woman in Prison does not understand court judgement #Indigenous #AP #Chattisgarh #Gondi

Dr Haneef from Khammam in Andhra Pradesh is talking to Sodey Bhimamma
a Gondi Adivasi from Chhattisgarh outside a court. Bhimamma has been
sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment on charges of murdering her
husband. She tells Dr Haneef that she does not understand Telugu so
she can not make our what is going on in the court and what police and
lawyers are telling. She says she is an orphan and have two children.
She needs help. For more Dr Haneef can be reached at 09490353568


Huts of Adivasis set ablaze- Shining India ?

KHAMMAM, May 8, 2012

Staff Reporter, The Hindu

Demolition drive against illegal structures in reserve forest

Helpless:Forest personnel torching huts that came up in the reserve forest land near Vagoddugudem village in Khammam district. (Right) Displaced tribal families taking shelter under the trees on Monday.— PHOTOs: G.N. RAO

Helpless:Forest personnel torching huts that came up in the reserve forest land near Vagoddugudem village in Khammam district. (Right) Displaced tribal families taking shelter under the trees on Monday.— PHOTOs: G.N. RAO

A strong posse of forest personnel allegedly raided a temporary tribal habitation and set ablaze ten huts of impoverished Adivasis near Vagoddugudem village in Aswaraopeta mandal on Monday.

According to sources, a team comprising 30 forest personnel headed by Dammapeta forest range officer U. Koteswara Rao allegedly demolished the huts of the Adivasis at the latter’s temporary habitation near Vagoddugudem in the afternoon. The forest personnel allegedly torched about ten huts as part of the demolition drive.

The inmates of the huts, mostly the labourers enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, were away from the habitation at the time of the raid. An old woman, who was present in one of the huts at that time, made repeated attempts to dissuade the forest personnel from demolishing the huts, but in vain, sources added.

Meanwhile, CPI (M) division secretary Pullaiah condemned the raid. Speaking to The Hindu , he said it is inhuman to torch the huts of the impoverished Adivasis. The personal belongings of some of the Adivasis were gutted in the incident, he alleged and deplored that the hapless Adivasis were rendered shelterless following the demolition drive. The displaced Adivasis should be rehabilitated and paid compensation, he said.

Cases pending

When contacted, Dammapeta forest range officer Koteshwara Rao said only a few huts were demolished as part of a drive to evict the dwellers from Lankalapalli reserve forest area. We have carried out the demolition drive only after removing the personal belongings of the dwellers, he said adding that several cases were pending against the dwellers of “illegal structures” erected in the reserve forest area.



  • Inmates of the huts, mostly labourers enrolled under MGNREGS, were away at the time of raid
  • The displaced Adivasis should be rehabilitated and paid compensation, says CPI (M) leader

The unending struggle of Bastar adivasis

Javed Iqbal | Friday, May 4, 2012, DNA

Conflict and displacement in Bastar leads to deprivation and forest loss in neighbouring Khammam

Around 43 families from the villages of Millampalli, Simalpenta, Raygudem, Darba and Singaram in Dantewada district, lost their makeshift homes for the second time in three months in the Mothe Reserve Forest of Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh on March 26, when the forest department, mandated to protect the forests, evicted them using force.

A large number of families are internally displaced persons who’ve escaped the Salwa Judum-Maoist conflict of Dantewada and have lived in Khammam as informal labour.

Most originated from Millampalli, that was burnt down by the Salwa Judum in 2006 and Maoists have killed at least three people — Sodi Dola, Komaram Muthaiya and Madkam Jogaiya in the past 10 years. Another resident of Millampalli, Dusaru Sodi, used to be a member of the Maoist Sangam but would eventually become a special police officer who witnesses from Tadmentla and Morpalli alleged was present during the burnings of the villages or Tadmetla, Morpalli and Timmapuram in March 2011 by security forces. His name again reappeared in testimonies by rape victims, submitted to the National Commission of Women and the Supreme Court by anthropologist Nandini Sundar.

Madvi Samaiya and Madvi Muthaiya from the village of Raygudem were also killed by the Maoists. In Simalpenta, the Sarpanch’s brother Kurra Anda was killed by the Maoists in 2006.In Singaram, an alleged encounter that took place on January 9, 2009, where 19 adivasis were killed by security forces as alleged Maoists.

In Khammam, most of the IDPs/migrants have worked as informal labour during the mircchi cutting season, earning around Rs100/day and live off their savings in the summer season when there is no work, and little access to water to a majority of the settlements. The Muria from Chhattisgarh, or the Gotti Koya as they are known in Andhra along with Koyas from Chhattisgarh, have been in a struggle to appropriate the reserve forest land of Khammam for podu cultivation, often leading the forest department to evict them, aware that the entire forest cover is turning into a ‘honeycomb,’ as described by the DFO Shafiullah, who pointed out to satellite imagery of a pockmarked forest in Khammam, back in 2010.

The influx of migrants and displaced persons has even led to conflicts with local adivasi Koya tribes over land and resources, sometimes leading to deadly clashes, like an incident in Mamallivaye in Aswapuram Mandal where the local Koya burned down the homes of the Gotti Koya, or in Kamantome settlement in 2009 where one man would be killed as a Maoist by the police after an erroneous tip-off from the neighbouring village of migrants who had settled before the civil war.

Recently, the forest survey of India, forest and environment ministry, published a controversial report that almost exonerated mining and land acquisition, and yet claimed that over 367 sq km of forest has been lost since 2009, pushing Khammam district to one of the worst affected districts where 182 sq km of forest cover have been lost.

In a recorded conversation between an activist and home minister P Chidambaram during the first months of Operation Green Hunt in late 2009, when repeated combing operations in Dantewada/Bijapur led to further influx of IDPs into Andhra Pradesh, the activist Himanshu Kumar had urged P Chidambaram to look into the plight of the IDPs and the migrants, yet his claims were refuted by the home minister as an exaggeration.

Yet there have been many recent reports of IDPs from the previously independently estimated 203 settlements who have returned to their villages owing to a decline in the frequency of combing operations and violent actions in their villages in Chhattisgarh and further difficulty to settle in AP. After the villages of Nendra, Lingagiri and Basaguda block were rehabilitated with the help of NGOs and activists using Supreme Court orders, many others have simply moved back to their villages on their own accord, including those of Kistaram, Uskowaya, Kanaiguda, Mullempanda, Gompad and Gaganpalli, to mention a few. Both Gompad, and Gaganpalli have faced a large number of killings — nine people were killed in Gompad on October 1, 2009 by security forces, and in the village of Gaganpalli, from where one of the leaders of the Salwa Judum originates, 10 people were killed in 2006 during the burning of the village by the Salwa Judum.

Read more here




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