Author

Muzamil Jaleel

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As the administration in Jammu and Kashmir starts its eviction drives to push the Gujjar and Bakwerwals out of their traditional homes, local and international law binds the government against it. But what is the way forward for these communities?  The Forest Rights Act of 2006 recognises the rights of Forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribes (FDST), and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD), to forest lands and produce except timber. The law is informed by the understanding…

By announcing a plan to retrieve the lands instead of acting against influential bureaucrats who transferred the lands illegally, the J&K administration is making clear the essential purpose of the exercise. The Jammu and Kashmir administration, now run directly from Delhi, has declared it will retrieve all the lands given away under the Roshni Act in six months. It claims to be doing this to “comply” with the high court’s recent ruling declaring the Roshni…