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RSS-affiliate Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram Demands Ordinance to Prevent Eviction of Over 10 Lakh Tribal Families

Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram said Union government should either come out with an ordinance or appeal before Supreme Court to stay its order on evictions of more than 10 million tribals and other forestdwellers.

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Updated:February 25, 2019, 9:50 PM IST
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RSS-affiliate Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram Demands Ordinance to Prevent Eviction of Over 10 Lakh Tribal Families
More than 23 lakh tribal and forest dwelling families face eviction following the Supreme Court order.
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An affiliate of the RSS, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (VKA), on Monday accused the Union government of keeping silent on Supreme Court’s February 13 order, which had called for an eviction of more than 10 million tribals and forest dwellers not recognised under the Forest Rights Act.

In a statement, the RSS-affiliated organisation said Union government should either come out with an ordinance or appeal before the apex court to stay its order on evictions. “The Central government should either bring out an ordinance or it should file a review petition to ensure that a stay order is secured against action on those whose claims have been rejected,” reads the statement issued by VKA secretary Vishnu Kant.

The VKA wants the state and central government to work together and bring out the facts in the case. "The tribals have always suffered from injustice and this will just add to the injustices they have faced," it said.

The organisation is also upset about there having been no representatives from the ministry of environment and forest in the past court hearings as it restricted them from putting their point across.

It pointed out that the government should order the tribal affairs ministry to present all facts before the Supreme Court. "This process shall take some time, therefore the Union government should immediately do everything to assure justice to the tribal society.”

The opposition parties have condemned the order and Congress president Rahul Gandhi has asked all states it governs – Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Puducherry, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab – to file interim petitions against the Supreme Court order.

The VKA said that people who raised a challenge on its constitutional validity have vested interests. “An NGO working on wildlife in 2009 raised a challenge about the constitutional validity of this law before the Supreme Court. Later a group of retired forest officials also joined this. It is known to the world that all these people were against the law from the very beginning. According to media…government lawyers sat quiet in the last three hearings of the case before the Supreme Court and in the last hearing (on February 13) they were not even present," it said in the statement.
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