Madhya Pradesh: Six tribals held after an attack on forest staff during anti-encroachment drive in Rohini forest, later released

Indore: The stalemate that developed after forest officials took six tribals in custody was resolved after their release in Khandwa late on Saturday.

They were taken in custody after tribals in Rohini forest area, Khandwa attacked police and the forest department staff with stones on Saturday.

The administration removed temporary encroachments of 20 families with JCB machines. In protest against the action, the affected tribals families came to Khandwa at 10 pm and gheraoed the SP office.

An activist associated with Narmada Bachoa Andolan, Madhuri Ben joinded the agitating tribal families in show of solidarity.

The protests of tribal women and men continued till late in the night. They took to singing tribal folk songs to protest demolition of their homes. ëWe will fight against the government, we will fight against the governmentí made up the lyrics of their songs.

SDM Dr Mamta Khede and SP resolved the situation by releasing the six tribals. The gathering was overjoyed as their associates were released and soon dispersed from the spot.

In the evening, forest officials and cops went to remove the encroachment in the Rohini forest area, where they had to battle stones from the encroachers.

The encroaching forest dwellers protested the action, raised slogans and pelted stones on the staff. However, the encroachers were chased away by the police and the forest department staff.

More than 400 forest and police department personnel were involved in the action.

During the†corona lockdown, the tribal had started cultivation on the land after clearing trees.

The tribals allegedly felled precious trees of Sagwan on 90 acres here.†

Officialspeak

SDM Dr Mamta Khede said that completely legal action has been taken against the encroachers by the government. Tribals have been duly arrested under the Forest Act. The matter will become clear after a probe.

Activistspeak

An activist associated with Narmada Bachoa Andolan, Madhuri Ben told media that the people of tribal community were tortured while in custody. They were unnecessarily arrested and sent to jail. The government has ordered that no person should be made homeless till July 15. The action is a testimony to the brutality of the government and the police.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in