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From: Campaign for Survival and Dignity <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>


ON THE VERY DAY that the PM wrote to State Chief Ministers in the name of
implementing the new law, 125 houses were burned in the villages of Peepal
Khotha and Juniwadi in Nepanagar Tehsil, Burhanpur District, Madhya Pradesh
(the site of evictions in a further six villages in December 2007).  Forest
officers, along with more than one hundred hired labourers, attacked the
villages after noon.  More than 25 100 kilo sacks of grain were looted by
the Department, along with more than 150 chickens, 60-70 goats, money,
silver, utensils and clothing.   All those attacked had been cultivating
their lands since 1979.

Today victims of these State atrocities in Burhanpur along with hundreds of
other adivasis have begun a protest dharna in Bhopal against the inhuman
brutality of the Forest Department.

This behaviour by the State of Madhya Pradesh only confirms what the forest
rights movements have always said - the mere notification of a law is but a
step forward.  For the government and the corporates driven by an agenda of
expropriating resources, neither law nor policy nor rights have ever been of
importance.  The law is but a tool in our hands to fight for our homelands.
Whereas before the exercise of force by the state was clothed in rhetoric
about forest protection and wildlife conservation, now its illegality and
brutality stands exposed.  The emperor truly has no clothes.

Campaign for Survival and Dignity

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