Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram urges Chief Minister to protect tribal rights

Mumbai, Feb. 1: A delegation of senior office bearers of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram along with representatives of several other tribal organisations met Ma...

Mumbai, Feb. 1: A delegation of senior office bearers of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram along with representatives of several other tribal organisations met Maharashtra Chief Minster Devendra Fadnavis and Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and urged them to protect the rights of the tribal. Certain lobbies have been trying to deprive the tribals of their constitutional rights and trying to bring in the Village Forest Rules 2014, the delegation said.

The NDA government in power at the centre in 2014 had denied permission to the Village Forest Rules 2014. But, a strong lobby of bureaucrats and people with vested interests has intensified back door efforts to implement the rules. When we realised the efforts, we decided to meet Chief Minister and urge him to cancel the rules, Chaitram Pawar, state unit president of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram has said.

Chief Minister Fadnavis assured us that the government is completely in favor of protecting the tribal rights and said that no efforts to curtail the rights would ever be tolerated, Mr. Pawar added.

While the forest rights act of 2006 is in force all across the nation, there was actually no need for a similar but diluted version of new legislation. More so, the efforts to bring in the VFR 2014, are against the constitutional provisions, said Mr. Pawar. Before bringing in any new legislation regarding tribals, a consultation with NCST and State tribal advisory council has been made mandatory according to Article 338-A(9) of the constitution. But, no such consultation has been made before bringing in the rules, he pointed out.

Lakshman Tople Konkan region president of VKA, Thamatai Pawar Raigad regional President of VKA, Dr. santosh Supe from Pune, Parasram Vaghere, Corporator from Nashik, Retired ACP from Thane Lakshman Kharpade were amongst the members of the delegation that met the Chief Minister, Pawar said.
Chaitram Pawar
President, Vanvasi kalian Ashram, Maharashtra.

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