THE first phase of the Adivasi Rights and Justice Yatra which started on 9 August is passing through the villages of this region evoking enthusiastic response. This yatra will conclude on 7 September with a public meeting in Robertsganj which will be addressed by General Secretary of the CPIML Dipankar Bhattacharya as the main speaker.
CPIML UP State Secretary Sudhakar Yadav has said that the Modi-Yogi rule is responsible for the Umbha (Sonbhadra) massacre. the terrible atrocities committed against adivasis and the poor are continuing in various forms; adivasis are being evicted from ancestral lands; the Sonanchal region is in the grips of horrific unemployment and starvation. He asked why the adivasi community is not getting their rights and justice under the Forest Rights Act; why the people here are in such dire condition despite the huge revenues extracted from the Sonanchal mines; why all the adivasi tribes are not being given tribal status; why adivasi lands are being looted.
He said that the Adivasi Rights and Justice Yatra has been on the move since 9 August and has been speaking to the people of the regions it passed through. Meeting with and speaking to the people, we get the clear feeling that the BJP, which sings the chant of nationalism day and night and spreads jingoistic poison, is blind to the distress of farmers, rampant hunger and starvation, unemployment, and the way in which education and health are fast becoming unaffordable and beyond the reach of the common people. On the one hand people like Adani and Ambani are amassing huge capital with the help and cooperation of the government; on the other hand, our happiness and our freedom are caged in the hands of a few persons.
The Yatra is now in its second phase and would be conducted through the villages of Lalganj Tehsil in Mirzapur where the people have borne the full brunt of government atrocities during the Yogi Raj and are struggling for their rights.
The demands of the Yatra are as follows:
- Regulate all disputed lands in Umbha village so that adivasis get legal rights to those lands.
- Bring all such lands in Mirzapur, Sonbhadra and the Naugarh region which Societies, Trusts, and Mutts have secured under their names through foul play in the records under government control and distribute them to adivasis and the poor.
- Constitute fast track courts for the speedy dispensation of land dispute cases of adivasis and the poor.
- Amend central laws so that adivasis of the region get status of Scheduled Tribes.
- Withdraw the proposed anti-people and anti-adivasi amendment to the Indian Forest Act of 1927.
- Announce a special economic package for the development and social security of adivasis.
- Withdraw all cases registered by the Forest Department against adivasis.
- Constitute a Land Commission.
- Spend a proper percentage of revenues secured from Sonanchal on local development.