Chhattisgarh tribals protest against fresh PESA rule, seek 32% quota
Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan convenor Alok Shukla said the tribals reached the state capital in the morning and held a convention in Gondwana Bhavan to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi before the march
RAIPUR: Thousands of tribals on Sunday took out a foot march in Raipur to demand the withdrawal of forest conservation rules introduced by the Centre and a 32% reservation for tribals in the state.
Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan convenor Alok Shukla said the tribals reached the state capital in the morning and held a convention in Gondwana Bhavan to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Later they started the march, dubbed ‘Gram Swaraj Rally’, from the Bhavan in Tikarapara locality of Raipur. The 7-km long march ended at Azad Chowk.
Tribal leader Suraj Tekam said about 5,000 people from different parts of the state participated in the protest rally.
In a representation addressed to the President, governor and chief minister, the tribals also asked the state government to take back the rules under the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act or PESA.
Tekam said the Chhattisgarh government has delegated the powers to the district collectors in place of gram sabhas under the newly framed PESA rules, which erode the spirit of the Act. In the same way, the amended provisions of granting permission to activities in forest areas will affect the rights of the gram sabha.
The tribals also sought a revival of the 32% quota in jobs and education for tribals that was struck down by the high court last month on grounds that the law was not able to make out a “special case” for breaching the reservation ceiling limit of 50%.