Subscribe to South Asia Citizens Wire | feeds from | @sacw
Home > Human Rights > India: "Development" Versus Constitutional Safeguards for the Tribal People (...)

India: "Development" Versus Constitutional Safeguards for the Tribal People - A PUCL Report

5 April 2015

print version of this article print version

The present Fact Finding was conducted over a period of 5 days. The fact finding process was initiated after the affected in the region and some local activists in the area sought an independent civil society investigation into the brutal suppression of the adivasis of Sundergarh District who have been protesting against the inclusion of their scheduled villages especially, Jagda and Jhartarang Panchayat into the Rourkela Municipal Corporation. This included information that huge numbers of villagers were getting arrested in the region and that on 20th January 2015, when the villagers organized an economic blockade as a sign of protest, several villagers including women and children were severely beaten up. On the initiative of the Chhattisgarh PUCL, this was deliberated in the National and various other state units of the PUCL and thus a fact finding team was formed including members from Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, particularly since these other states also have similar experiences of Scheduled rural areas being forcibly included in the urban areas.
[. . .]
Sundergarh is a Schedule Five district in the north-western part of the state of Odisha. It has been a site of multiple movements for the right to self-determination historically, and also one of the regions that has made great sacrifices for the development of this country. As much as 67 per cent of the population lives in the rural areas. Sundergarh is the 2nd largest tribal district of Odisha having 51% of tribal population. The entire district is a
Scheduled Area thus making the Fifth Schedule as well as Acts like PESA, OSATIP and special schemes meant for tribal communities under ITDAs applicable in the area.

The marginalization process of the tribal communities in Sundergarh started with the industrialization, mining and urbanisation of the district leading to large scale dispossession, as also deprivation resulting from the alienation from forest resources on which tribal communities were dependent for survival. Setting up of one of the first steel plants of the country, Rourkela Steel Plant, resulted in large scale displacement of adivasis who inhabited the Rourkela area, without any consideration for their resettlement and rehabilitation. Rules under Fifth schedule were violated while adivasis in the area were getting impoverished and their numbers reduced with every successive census after independence.
[. . .].


Urbanization as “Development” Versus Constitutional Safeguards for the Tribal People [PDF version]
Report of a PUCL Fact Finding Team into unrest and repression in the Sundergarh scheduled district of Odisha (16th to 20th February 2015)