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Brinda raises tribal forest rights cry in House...

CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat has criticised the UPA government's failure to notify rules pertaining to the tribals rights bill a year after its passage in the Lok Sabha, reports Srinand Jha.

delhi Updated: Nov 28, 2007 02:24 IST
Srinand Jha

CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat has criticised the UPA government's failure to notify rules pertaining to the tribals rights bill a year after its passage in the Lok Sabha.

Karat, while raising the matter as a zero hour mention on Tuesday, said the delay amounted to subversion of the will of Parliament.

Her censure of the government oddly found support in BJP leader Najma Heptullah, who is also chairperson of the Rajya Sabha committee on subordinate legislation.

Shortly after Karat spoke, Heptullah got up and said that the parliamentary committee had taken note that the Union government was dragging its feet and had sent out a notice to it on this.

Passed by the Lok Sabha in December 2006, the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill seeks to recognise occupation rights of forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other people who have traditionally resided in and around forests.

The government, Karat said, was engaged in changing the sequencing of the act and was indifferent to the conditions of tribals even as they were being forcefully evicted from their traditional homes in large numbers in different parts of the country.

Karat also demanded an explanation from the Assam government on the stripping of an Adivasi woman on Sunday, calling it "disgraceful" and "barbaric".

Earlier, during question hour, the CPI(M) leader had demanded a reversal of the Union government's economic policies which "excluded the poor" from the growth agenda.

The rich-poor gap has been widening and it is a matter of shame that 78 per cent of the rural population is not only below the poverty line, but also living in a state of acute destitution, she said.