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 The RoFR act recognizes the dwelling site, religious places, burial grounds, village council sites along with places of MFP, water resources, biodiverisity etc and also PVT tenures. As the implementation boils down to title deeds for house sites and lands under cultivation, SAKTI engaged the Chenchu youth to document their traditional knowledge in their idiom and dialect, in encouraging them to assert as inborn foresters, capable of managing these resources as envisaged in the Act.

"Since SAKTI activities are mostly issue based and covering a large area, here we concentrate on the forest-related programmes of SAKTI for the present study."


The Tribal Struggle for Property Rights

-Arun Kumar

SAKTI: Review Report by: Mukta Srivastava, Programme Officer, Oxfam GB in India - Hyderabad . DATE : 20-25 November 2002




Bhukya Bhangya

Asst. Professor of History

Nizam College,

Osmania University,


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 Row over tribal lands hotting up

The Hindu, October 21, 1995.

From Our Staff Reporter

RAJAHMUNDRY , Oct. 20 : "-- until the contrary is proved, any immovable property situated in the Agency tracts and in the possession of a person who is not a member of Scheduled Tribal shall be presumed to have been acquired by persons or his predecessor in possession, through a transfer made to him by a member of Scheduled Tribe."

"Tribals not only require to be preserved and protected in respect of their economic and educational interests, but they also require to be immunized from social injustice and exploitation."

These observations had been made by Court, while rejecting an appeal by some non-tribals, questioning the validity of some provisions of the AP Scheduled Areas Land Transfer Regulation Act 1959, as amended by Regulation 1 of 1970, which prohibited transfer of land in scheduled areas from a non-tribal even to another non-tribal. This was in 1988.

It is a moot point whether tribals in the agency tracts of East Godavari and West Godavari are aware of these observations. But they have been asking this very inconvenient question to both non-tribals and officers concerned in the agency tracts. How did you - non-tribal - get this land in the agency area? Also they seem to be determined to protect themselves against exploitation, if incidents in the last about three months, specially in the three agency mandals of West Godavari, namely Polavaram, Buttayagudem and Jeelugumilli besides some areas in East Godavari district are any indication.

Widening gap
The chasm between tribals and non-tribals over the issue of land, seem to be widening with ominous portents. On October 15 a group of tribals attacked non-tribals in Jillellagudem village of Jeelugumilli mandal. It had threatened to develop into a law and order problem but prompt action by police and provision of a police picket had prevented the situation from turning worse.

This was only the latest in a series of incidents between tribals and non-tribals that started with 'occupation' by the farmer the lands of the latter in May. When, the Special Deputy Collector (Tribal Welfare), West Godavari , had acquired some 27 acres of fertile land in Jeelugumilli village and distributed the same to tribals, it had caused resentment among non-tribal farmers.

Emboldened by this decision, tribals started occupying other stretches of lands, asserting that the land is Assessed Waste Dry (ASW)-Poramboke in popular parlance-and the same should be given to them. When non-tribal farmers asserted that they had documentary proof of their ownership of land which they had been enjoying for the last several decades, officials asked them to produce the same.

No documents
At least 17 non-tribal farmers failed to produce such proof, Meanwhile, the phenomenon of tribals either occupying non-tribal lands or preventing non-tribals from cultivating the lands had spread to other villages such as Thotaramnnagudem, Lankalapalli, Munugopula, Kothanagapalem, Reddynagampalem, etc. This had led promulgation of Section 145, etc., and non-tribals resorting to relay hunger fasts. Incidentally, when the issue was raging, Mr. Arvind Kumar, the then sub-collector, of Kovvuru was transferred to East Godavari as Joint Collector in August. The allegation was that he was acting against the interest of powerful non-tribal farmers. According to sources, he was instrumental in getting some 27 acres of fertile land distributed to tribals in May.

A couple of days back, the Project Officer of ITDA (Integrated Tribal Development Agency), West Godavari , Mr. D. Rajesam was also transferred. Strong political pressure had reportedly been exerted to move out these officers.

The District Collector ( West Godavari ), Mr. D. Ramakrishna visited the affected areas din the third week of July and assured the tribals that he would get lands in agency areas survey land distribute poramboke lands to poor tribals. On October 12, the Revenue Divisional Officer, Kovvuru gave a judgment in respect of some disputed lands which, tribals felt, went against their interests. But the point is, despite the decision in their favour, non-tribals were unable to cultivate the lands.

Warnings ignored
Tribals seemed to have lost confidence to officials, for they are in no mood to obey them. Non-tribals in Munturu village in Devipatnam mandal in East Godavari complain that tribals have been cultivating land in violation of authorities that action would be taken, seem to have made no impact on tribals.

Non-tribals in the agency areas also complain that they were not able to cultivate even their patta lands. According to sources, the extent of land to be assigned or restored to the transferors, under the provisions of the A.P.S.A.L.T. (Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Areas Land Transfer) Regulation, 1959 in the mandals of Buttayagudem, Polavaram and Jeelugumilli is about 6600 acres.

There is nothing in these three mandals that gives the impression that it is an agency area. Major share of the land is in possession of non-tribals. While the extent of land possessed by tribals is only 13,358 acres, non-tribals enjoy the fruits from as much as 28,367 acres in these three mandals. This gave an indication of migration of non-tribals from plans to tribal areas over a period of time. There is agreement, among all sections concerned, on one thing that unless the issue of land is solved to the satisfaction of tribals and non-tribals, the result could be a serious law and order problem. The wages of delay could also be very high.






W.P. No. 5515/87 M.P.No.7398/87 Date:May 1987

W.P. No. 6175/87 M.P.No.8273/87 Date:May 1987

 "Managing Director Godavari plywoods ltd. Rampachodavaram E.G.Dt. be and hereby is directed not to cut any mango trees, jamun and jack trees and cutting the forests of Maredumilli mandal, E.G.Dt."

 Only matured or dying trees were to be felled. Jeelugu (Caryota urens) palm, trees yielding minor forest produce like tamarind or cane brakes, creepers were not to be touched. A gap of 20 meters from a stream.)         --Times of India, April 30, 1991.


The candidate has chosen a topical subject, very relevant to our thinking on culture, cognition and language. He has red widely and is familiar with the literature that matters. His linguistic and anthropological reasoning is sound. His language is clear and simple.

...evidence of the investigator's ability as a linguist by special training and as a linguistic anthropologist by self - cultivated interest.

Prof. A.Munirathnam Reddy, Head, Department of Social Anthropology,S.V.University, Tirupati - 517502


Enabling the Community to Gain Command Over the Administrative Process is Empowerment.


"Today the development is manaement without governance and governanace is without proper participation."



A.P.Cabinet Sub - Committee Report on Left Wing Extrremists. - P.Sivaramakrishna.

The only information the government or media always compile carefully is on Naxalite encounters, never the violations of the instruments of rule of law such as minimum wages, fifth schedule, mismanagement of forests, equity in the distribution of welfare benefits, displacement, fragmentation of Socio-economic entities etc. 



if the R & R is found to be lagging with reference to the fixed bench marks, the construction should accordingly be deferred / stopped;



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