Monday, November 30, 2009

On how real estate is snatching land from Goa's tribal people

The following deposition was made at the People's Tribunal organised by Gawda, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Federation and headed by Justice Hosbet Suresh, a retired judge from Bombay High Court. Tribunal was held on May 30-31, 2009 in Panaji.

Pandurang Rama Kukalkar, Chimbel, Tiswadi:

In Goa all the 11 talukas has plateau land. All of them are not of rocky areas by places of greenery. In Tiswadi taluka too there is plateau known as Kadamba plateau. I is located at the distance of six kilometers from Panjim. All this land is in possession of ST community. In other parts of Goa too plateaus lands are in possession of Gawda community. Other prominent examples are Plateau in Betul in South Goa’s Quepem taluka that is also in possession of Gawda community.

This plateau has 2 crore square meters of land. Out of which Pandurang Kukalkar currently is in possession of 13 lakh square meters of land covering survey numbers 28, 30 and 31. The possession has been passed on from his grandfather to his father and now to himself.

Earlier his grandfather invited his relative to look after the land as it was too big for him alone. Its owners are Shantabai Kamat and Sharadchandra Navelkar. Kukalkar’s family used to give 15 tons of cashew nuts to landlord as Khand plus 5 trucks of firewood.

Their relative developed desire for this land and land to look after got divided unofficially. Relatives of landlord too developed desire for this land and officially land was partitioned into three parts. Further Navelkar’s share of land was further partitioned into three.

In 1971 during the first survey in Liberated Goa, Kukalkar’s relative tried to include his name into the official land records. He was assaulted by goons from Taleigao village brought on Kadamba Plateau for attempting this. After this experience of relative Pandurang Kukalkar’s father Rama Kukalkar warned Pandurand Kukalkar not to attempt to include his name into the official land records for fear of threat to life.

Kukalkar’s relative who attempted to get his name in official records was driven out of Kadamba Plateau by the landlords and the responsibility to look after this land was bestowed upon Pandurang Kukalkar. Thus more land came in possession of Pandurang Kukalkar.

Dispute arose amongst the landlord brother over the share of Kukalkar’s Khand. Kukalkar used to send entire khand jointly to landlord’s family. After the dispute Kukalkar was asked to send the Khand separately. So from that time onwards Kukalkar began to send each share of Khand separately to each of the landlord brothers.

Then Kukalkar famility developed quarrel amongst them and Kukalkar gave up his government job with Public Works Department (PWD) and devoted himself fully for to care of the land.

Then one of the landlords – Navelkars – refused to accept Khand and began cutting trees. Kukalkar questioned landlord and confrontation started. Kukalkar then asked landlord the cost of land and declared his intention to buy off the land where Kukalkar had his plantation. Landlord warned him “I will not give you a singly square meter of land, instead will teach you a lesson.” In the meanwhile Pandurang Kukalkar’s father Rama Kukalkar warned advised Pandurang not to follow confrontationist path with landlord by getting into land dispute. Landlord went ahead with his threat of teaching him a lesson and destroyed Kukalkar’s existing distillery space.

One part of the property was sold to the Landscape developers by the landlord. Kukalkar went to the Landscape developers to ask for settlement. Builder asked Kukalkar to file legal suit. Kukalkar has no money to get into litigation so he kept silent then. His community lawyers/leaders advised him to keep quite and promised to take up the matter when he will be beaten up!

Landlords then sold part of land to builder named Joe Mathai. Some more land is sold to unknown party from Mumbai, and another part of land sold to the owners of Rajdhani Hotel in Panjim.

Landlord Navelkar cut trees in land looked after by Kukalkar. Bulldozer was deployed to destroy the distillery of Kukalkar. Kukalkar family was scared.

From the six parts of land five parts are out of his possession. One part Kukalkar is enjoying. There is massive tree cutting going in on Kadamba Plateau. What is the role of Town and Country Planning in all this? How did local Panchayat permit this happenings? High level politicians are involved. Major political parties such as BJP and Congress are involved.

Constructions that are already began is by three builders so far: Joe Mathai, Landscape developers, and Rajdhani Hotel, Panjim. Presently there is construction work going on for Hill city.

As a result of all this happenings Cashew production has drastically dropped. Villages that traditionally dependent upon Kadamba Plateau for their cultivations includes Carambolim, Curca, Bhati, Santa Cruz, and Chimbel. They engaged in cultivation/harvesting of Mangoes, Jackfruits, Pineapple etc. There are number of natural springs and lakes in this area.

There is also high population of wild animals such as wild boar in this area. There are frequent hunting used to be carried on at this site with part of hunted animal piece used to be kept for local tribal spirit called “Baiginkar”

Law as source of injustice to tribal people in Goa

The following are depositions that were made at the People's Tribunal held in Panaji on May 30-31, 2009. it was headed by Justice Hosbet Suresh, a retired High Court judge of Bombay High Court.

Narayan Rama Gawde, Talolem, Bandoda:

He is a tenant but has legal problem with his position as there are two people claiming to be his landlords. He want to get himself to be declared as tenant of the land that his family has been occupying for over 75 years and carries on cultivation of Cashew, Ragi, Cereal, Morod, Cucumber, ladyfingers, etc.

Krishna Mangueshkar, Sonu Mangueshkar, Narayan Mangueshkar, Digambar Mangueshkar, Pallant, Siridona, Tiswadi :

Residential land is in their possession and have been residing there for many generations. However they do not have clear land titles. They are not yet declared as ‘Mundkars’- legal title holders of their land. The land lord suggest them to buy the land they are occupying at the rate of Rs.50/- per square meter. This is wide trend in Goa owing to land speculations where traditional people is like Tribals are forced to give way for real estate purpose. They desire clear titles to their land titles as ‘Mundcars’.

Ganesh Mono Gawde, Karmale, Querim, Ponda:

He is in cultivator possession of land for the past five Generations. They grow Cashew, Mango, beetle nut etc. On form I & XIV form of his land Forest Department is recorded as owner. While he is recorded in ‘Other rights’ column. This creates a problems while availing various schemes for farmers as Government schemes for agriculture development requires that the name be recorded on I & XIV as ‘Tenant’ and not in ‘Other Rights’ column as is presently the case.

Tukaram Apa Kholkar, Caraim, Chodan, Tiswadi:

Cultivating the khazan land in Morombi-o-Grande, Merces, Tiswadi that belonged to Landlords. In 1984 purchased from Bhatkar (land lord) but no mutation entry is effected in his name in land records and land continues to be shown officially as belonging to landlord. He has to follow up the matter with mamlatdar of Tiswadi

Sriram Baburao Gawde:

Sriram’s tenancy matter is pending in mamlatdar’s court since 1990. Advocated are taking new dates every time. Advocates prosper by taking new dates. Justice delayed is justice denied. Tribal people are suffering because of Judiciary. There should be time limit to decide on litigations. The tenancy cases Nos. 20/98, 21/98 & 22/98 is Mamlatdar, Ponda. When will these cases be settled?

Sriram’s land measuring 1,000 square meters has been taken over for the purpose of road widening Rs 1 lakh 20 thousands was paid in 1987 as compensation as a share of Shantadurga temple located at Nanora, Bicholim. Sriram and others has 8 acres of land in possession in Priol, Ponda. He also has got form I & XIV registered as tenant of the area. He has requested hereby to declare his family members as tenant as early as possible.

Anil Gaonkar, Bhati, Sanguem:

Anil Gaonkar has Matriz documents in his possession as a land title. His land was acquired for Selaulim dam irrigation project. He applied for redressal with Irrigation department, Personal department and Chief Minister. However because Matriz has been termed as invalid land title document Anil is unable to lay his claims. Mamlatdar when approached told him to get latest Court order for the purpose of mutation. His submerged land under Selaulim dam bears survey number 37. His name is not found on survey no I & XIV form. All together 8 families had their common property submerged under the Selaulim Irrigation dam.

Ramchandra Gaonkar, Bhati, Sanguem:

Ramchandra has old matriz document by which he is an owner of 5000 square meters of plantations that has variety of fruit bearing trees such as Mango, Cashew and Jackfruit. In form I & XIV the owner is wrongly recorded as forest department. Now he needs permission to cut big trees to construct house for himself. He also need to construct road to his house. He fears that Forest department may object in this regard.

Digu Dhaku Dhulapkar, Dulapi, Corlim, Tiswadi represented by Durgadas Gaonkar:

Digu resides in house number 359/1 in a land bearing survey number 31/1. He had filed case for declaration as Mundkar in Mamlatdar’s Court in 1986. The case is still pending for over 23 years. He said independent India has deprived people of their rights. Durgadas submitted that People like him be recognized as Mundkars and be given rightful dwelling.

Access to land denied: Deposition at People's Tribunal

The following deposition was made at the People's Tribunal headed by Justice Hosbet Suresh, a retired High Court judge of Bombay High Court. Tribunal was held on May 30-31, 2009 at Panaji and organized by Gawda, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Federation.

Dropadi Arjun Shirdkar, Goule-Bhat, Chimbel:

Access to her land is denied. On land records – City survey office- her name is recorded as lessee even then government officials cut trees in her land. She has approached mamlatdar for redress but has not received satisfactory response.

Her late husband Arjun Shirodkar was Lessee of Government property situated at Ribandar bearing P.T. Sheet no.17 and chalta No. 2 admeasuring about 12,000 square meters of land since April 1972. After Arjun’s death in 1986 Dropadi is holding this land till date. There are various kinds of cultivations such as Chickoo Jackfriuts, Mangoes, Coconut, Pineapple, Bamboos etc is undertaken. This is a only source of income for her family. She was using gate of Bal Niketan to enter her land. This is now blocked and there is no rightful access to enter her property. This situation has arisen after the Institute of Management at Ribandar has encroached upon agricultural land. Government of Goa too is siding with this institute and asking her to vacate the land.

How mining companies are cheating Goa's tribal people

The below are depositions on mining before the People's Tibunal headed by Justice Hosbet Suresh, a retired High Court Judge from Bombay High Court, held on May 30-31, 2009 in Panaji.

Soiru Kushali Sawant, Colomba, Rivona:
Soiru is in possession of Forest land. He has Matriz documents granted by erstwhile Portuguese Colonial State in 1819. Forest department however has established its control over this land and gave permissions to cut down thousands of forest trees. The beneficiary of this is Radha Timblo who runs mining company and wants to expand its existing mining lease in the name of Baddruddin Mavani. Case against Forest department has been filed in Collector’s office in Margao that has been adjourned over 35 times in the past 5 years without Forest department filing a reply. His Matriz documents are recognised by the State any more and this has caused problems and sufferings to him like so many other tribal people in Goa.

Rama Ladu Velip, Colamb, Rivona, Sanguem:
His family owns land that bears survey number 16/1 in Colamb village. It is a hilly terrain but his family has various types of plantations such as Jackfruit, Mango, and coconut, and other fruits and vegetable. The entire family is dependent upon this land for their sustenance. This land also forms a part of mining lease belonging to Lidia Simoes. The mining lease was granted during Portuguese colonial rule. This mine was stopped in 1964 and it is closed ever since. Now however due to demand for iron from China there is rush for mining and rapidly so many of mining leases are getting started. His village of Colmba and surrounding villages in Quepem and Sanguem Talukas are rich deposits of Iron Ore and there is increasing efforts by mining companies and Indian government to start mines to extract ore. This rush for minerals however is affecting people and environment. People that are residing in the vicinity are around 2500 and majority (95%) of them are adivasis. Livelihood options of these people are directly at stake. Rama Velip urged that mining leases be cancelled.

There is movement going on against Fomento Mining Company that is carrying on mining activities in Colamb. The movement has been going on since 2007. This particular mine is affecting land measuring over 200 hectares. 80 families are directly affected as their agricultural fields are facing mining silt and water shortages. While struggling in defense of their livelihood threatened by mining company People of Colamb has suffered state violence. Several police cases are filed and several people arrested, and court cases have begun in Sanguem and Quepem Courts. First arrests took place in 2007 when 6 people were arrested. Majority of these arrested were women. After their release several applications complaining about what is happening to their agriculture and forest land were filed before various authorities such as Mamlatdar and Collector – South Goa. No actions was taken by these authorities in response to the villagers complaints. Mining activities are going on in the survey number 57 that is identified as Forest under Sawant and Karapurkar Committee. Villagers filed complaints with the Forest department but even then no action was taken by forest department against mining company. Presently mining activities are going on continuously.

In 2008 protest 86 people were arrested while they were peacefully protesting against the mining company in Colamb. False cases were filed by mining company that villagers attacked them and destroyed their computers. For this 8 people were arrested and put into police lock up at Quepem Police Station. Inside the police station Slates were put around their neck and photographed – practice followed very often by police with regard to hardcore criminals. Why police is doing this when people are protesting to assert their rights? Why are they treated like criminals?

The mining the way it is going presently continues then Colamb village will surely get finished. This village has totally 1929 hectares of land out of which 1510 hectares are covered with mining leases. Presently 5 mines are in operation. 4 more has finished their Public Hearing. Another one mine has declared announced its public hearing sometime in near future. Where will 2500 people of the village go in this context?

People are put under pressure in various ways. Judiciary too is used as a pressure tactic to break villagers moral from fighting for their right to life and livelihood. 2 cases are going on in Sanguem Court, 1 case is going on in Quepem Court. Another once case is coming up in Quepem court. Additionally fresh notices are issued against those who are protesting against mining. Police harassment is continuously going on in Colamb village. Colamb villager’s fight is in defense of livelihood in a democratic manner. They are worried that water sources will be totally destroyed in the process of mining. Not only colamb village is affected due to mining, it is entire South Goa is going to face acute water shortages if the mining continue to flourish in Sanguem and Quepem Talukas. Fields are dried up due to mining.

South Goa Collector is totally silent on the villager’s complaints. Mining truck owners and truck drivers ruling the state machinery in the mining belt. In one instance recently when traffic police stopped mining truck as it was overloaded and rash driving, truck drivers in the town of Sanvordem confiscated ‘challan’ book from the Policeman’s hand and torn it apart went away with the truck.

During past few years complaints are filed with various authorities. Some of these authorities include Mamlatdar, Deputy Collector, Collector, Forest Department, Water Resource Department, Goa State Pollution Control Board, Chief Secretary, Chief Minister and Governor. One of the Governors M.C. Jamir even visited Colamb village and witnessed the destruction of villages by mining activities. However his visit yielded no concrete result to the village as no steps were taken to stop mining activities in Colamb village. In fact mining company has deployed goons to intimidate the villagers protesting mining activities.

There is very clear nexus between Mining companies with Forest Department and Department of Mines and Geology. The moment one department is petitioned immediately other department comes to know about it along with the Mining companies. This is indeed very dangerous situation.

Liquor consumption has increased in the village with the beginning of mining activities. Before the mine started there was only one liquor shop in the village. But now the number has increased to 10 in 2009.

Lease owners of the mines include the following:
1. Marzook Cadar, a Pakistani national who expired. His mining lease is operated by Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Anil Salgaonkar but contracted to Urban Development Minister Joaquim Alemao.
2. Sheikh Adam, a Pakistani national who expired.
3. Badruddin Mavany, a Pakistani national who expired. His mining lease is operated by Radha Timblo.
4. Lidia Simoes, a French national who expired. Her mining lease is not operated by any one.
How these mining leases did is operated by mining companies without getting the leases transferred. There is an element of illegality here in the operation of mining trade in these instances.

Besides companies especially Minister Joaquim Alemao’s Raissa mining company threatens everyone who does not accept money and refuses to compromise with mining companies.

Some mines have got renewal of their leases and operate, some has not got renewal of their leases but still operate. Lots of mining leases are in Government Forest and even in sanctuaries. This allegation however was denied by the Deputy Conservator of Forest, Milind Kharkhanis who was present and deposed before the Jury.

Forest department is involved in destroying natural forest and in its place. This allegations too was refuted by Milind Khakanis while he deposed before the Jury.

Milind Karkhanis, Deputy Conservator of Forest, Goa:
Provisions in Forest Conservation Act 1980 empower state governments to act on the complaints only in the cases of ‘Reserved Forest’ and ‘Protected Areas’. State Forest Department is in no position to stop mining activities going on in ‘Government Forest’. On the complaints about mining activities in Forest lands only Central Government is empowered to act. And the officers that are responsible to act on this are located in Bangalore and they are not known to have acted ever on any complaints from Goa. State Forest Department is taking action under the Trees Act that has paltry sum as penalty. So Goa’s ‘Government Forest’ is open for abuse.

Goa has about 1,200 square kilometers of Forest. Out of which nearly 700 square kilometers (67%) is Protected Forest. 67 square kilometers is ‘Private Forest’.

Forest department faced mining related litigation in one case wherein Rama Ladu Velip approached High Court regarding right of mining company to use the road in forest to transport mining ore. Since the road was already in use High Court refused to consider transportation of ore from road that passes from Forest land in Colamb as ‘use of forest land for non forest purpose’.

There are reports that Goa’s Forest is has declined by 18% due to mining activities. Karkahnis stated that this is an inflated figure but he had no figure to provide. He submitted that no tree cutting is allowed in ‘Private Forest’ but it is allowed in ‘Government Forest’.

More forest area needs to be identified immediately or else it will go under mining. Sanguem has 570 square Kilometers of Forest. This taluka also have 295 mining leases. Forest department has to prepare feasibility study report as to what mining activities at this scale will do to the Forest. Forest Deputy conservator stated that this can be done only if the directive comes from the State government or it will not be done.

Forest officer present Milind Karkhanis was also questioned about absence of Forest Department from Public Hearings conducted wherein Forest land is involved in mining activities. Instances from Quepem, Sanguem and Sattari mining Public Hearings were cited wherein Forest Department was absent.

Forest Officer submitted that it is duty of the Forest Department to be present at the Public Hearings conducted by Collector and Goa State Pollution Control Board (GPSCB).

In Cavrem, Quepem Forest Areas are depicted as active mining leases in RP-2021 even though there are no active mining leases operating there. Survey number 19/1 of Cavrem village was cited as evidence to this. Forest Department has been lapsed in its duty to check and safeguard status of Forest from getting demarcated as active mining leases as far as RP-2021 is concerned.

Shanu Sagun Velip, Cavrem, Quepem

In survey number 19/1 of Cavrem mining company has cut trees. In this land cultivated by Shanu Sagun Velip there are Coconut trees, banana trees, cashew cultivation, beetlenut plantations etc. This has been shown in Goa Regional Plan 2021 as active mining lease. The problem are caused to the local tribal villagers because of mining company adjacent to his property. Its owner is Government of Goa. Mining companiy tells Shanu that this land belongs to the forest department and not to the Shanu and his family. The open cast iron ore mine is operating within the distance of 5-7 kms from his house.

Shanu is dependent upon this land as his sole livelihood. He does not have any another occupation to lean upon or any kind of business to engage in. There are seven people in his family and all of them are engaged in agriculture activities. Mining rejects dumped by mining company is likely to enter his house as well as his agricultural fields.

This mine is known as Sheikh Salim mine and nearly 18 houses exist in its vicinity.

Discussion on this case participated by Jury members and Expert Panel members:

According to the debates in the Goa Assembly there are 126 operating mining leases in the State of Goa. According to the Goa Regional Plan – 2021 there are 99 operating mining leases.

In the first draft of Regional Plan 2021 no mining leases were shown in Carvem Panchayat jurisdiction. Mining leases were shown in the second draft of Regional Plan 2021 in Cavrem Panchayat jurisdiction.

Shanu Sagun Velip is involved in cultivation for the past 50 years in Cavrem. However during the past two years with the onset of open cast iron ore mining lots of destruction has taken place to the Bhat (Horticulture) and Xett (Agriculture). Shanu questioned “in this circumstance what he is supposed to do?”

Shanu’s familily used spring water for the drinking, cooking, washing and cultivation purpose. There is spring close by that originates in the mountains. Spring water is reduced due to mines.

This mining lease is part of very good aquifer. Mining is actively destroying good aquifers in the State of Goa.

How forest department has cheated Goa's tribal people

The below are depositions before the People's Tribunal headed by Justice Hosbet Suresh, a retired judge of Bombay High Court held on May 30-31 2009 in Panaji. It was organized by Gawda, Kunbi. Velip and Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED).

Shabu Kusado Gaonkar, Yeda, Khotigao, Canacona:

Living in Khotigao for many generations and using forest land for grazing purpose. Khotigao forest areas were declared as Wildlife sanctuary in 1968. For past few years farmers cattles are prevented for grazing into the forest lands. Ploughing for cultivation purpose in their locality is also objected to by forest department. Nearly 500 familes are facing the tyranny of the forest department. In order to prevent the cattle from entering the forest for grazing purpose forest department has dug trenches and installed metal gate near Nadke village in Canacona taluka. Forest department also involved in verbal frightening and physically beating the local tribal people and very often has even confiscated their agricultural implements such as “Koito”. “Koito” is a kind of a chopper that tribal people carry with them while they petrol their plantations in the forest from being destroyed by wild animals. Forest department however accuse them of hunting and confiscate their “Koito” and also beat up people very often. Due to fear of the Forest officers tribal people do not file police cases against forest officers. The Scheduled Tribes and Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of forest rights) Act, 2006

is not implemented in Goa as hamlet level gram Sabhas are yet to be conducted as per the requirement of the “Forest Act”. Forest department never attends regular Gram Sabhas of the Panchayat of revenue village of Khotigao.

People have cultivated cashew tree, mango trees, coconut trees etc for past many generations in Khotigoa village. Forest is grazing ground for cattle for many generations. Forest officials are preventing the tribal people from plating cashew trees in the land traditionally occupied by tribals themselves. Forest department has put up a gate and villagers are prevented from entering the forest. As a result they are not able to get firewood from forest by Forest department officials from Canacona taluka. This is after the Forest has been declared as Sanctuary. They are not aware if their cultivation lands are included within the jurisdictions of the Khotigao Wildlife Sanctuary: they are not served any notice to intimate if that is so by Forest department. Adivasis are entirely dependent upon the cultivation in forest lands for their livelihood sustenance. Adivasi people are ignorant whether Forest Rights Committee is constituted in the village. On day one of the tribunal on 30th May 2009 when this matter came up for hearing no representative from Forest department was present in spite of invitation from the organisers namely Gawda Kunbi Velip and Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED).

Dhowlo Babu Velip, Avali, Khotigao, Cancaona, Goa:

Forest Department is cutting down peoples’ grown up cashew plantations and planting wild trees. There is harassment from Forest department officials in the form of beating up of the villagers and threats to arrest and imprison. The land documents in possession of tribal people is the old Portuguese document known as ‘Matriz’. This document is not recognised in the government offices as authentic land document. They are having valid extraction licence as well as distillation licence from State excise department for the past years. Distillation has been going on for the past 40 years. Regarding harassment by Forest department villagers has filed complaints 50 times. Complaints of beating up to collector led to filing up of more cases against people. False cases were filed against nine people and two people were beaten up. The people got scarred and stopped complaining. People are falsely accused of hunting wild animals while tribal people guard their cultivated crops on forest land.

Sada Sangodkar, Murmunne, Sattari:

Traditionally tribal people inhabited forest lands in various parts of Goa and survived on “Kumeri Cultivation”. Governments has recorded itself as owner in land record with forest department as occupant in land titles while some tribal people are registered as “encroachers” after 1971 survey. Many tribal people are not recorded at all in any capacity. Portuguese has granted land titles to tribal people. Some of these type of titles were called ‘Alviera’, ‘Provedoria’ and ‘Cotto’. These titles were not recognised by State in Liberated Goa. This has caused injustice to the Gawda, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Community and are suffering at behest of Forest department.

Vasu Laxman Gawde, Nanuz, Usgao, Ponda:

Tribal people are cultivating for many generation in Forest areas and even has legal title called “Sanad” issued by Collector. But in spite of this Forest department is conducting auctions of cashew plantations. Since collector has issued ‘sanad’ as land title. Forest department must stop auctioning of cashew plantations.

Baju Jano Suzaro, Mollem:

His family has been cultivating in forest land since his forefather. The type of cultivations includes Cashew, Jackfruit, Mango, Paddy, Vegetable, Ragi etc. Though they were told that this land is theirs by politicians way back in 1972 still their names are not included in form I & XIV form in spite of his application to this effect. His family stays in a hut and is not electrified. Due to high fees involved he has not taken to route to courts. This case is of Kumeri Cultivation that needs legal recognition of their rights. Forest department is constantly harassing him; not allowing electricity connection, and water connection. 25 houses of Dhangars are affected with this situation.

Kushali Gaonkar, Konir, Rivona:

The village crematorium is shown as property of forest department. The villagers continue to pay taxes of this crematorium located in Survey nos 121/1&2 and 109/1&2. The records of existence of this crematorium exist in Modi language in the name of Bhurco Gaoncar of 1988.

Raghunath Jalmi, Keri, Ponda:

Nearly 35,000 square meters of land that tribal in Keri Ponda use as grazing land is sought to be converted for real estate by landlord Vishwemba Sinai. Villagers has written letter to the local authorities protesting this proposal. Tribal people were earlier used to cultivate Morod form of agriculture on these plain lands. Now forest department has taken over the land and began planting acacia trees.

Milind Karkhanis, Deputy Conservator of Forest, Goa:

Settlement of Rights have not taken place in Goa even though it is required under the Forest Rights Act 2006. Goa Government has not yet constituted committee for the purpose of Critical Wildlife Habitat. Critical Habitat also required following procedure of Settlement of Rights. Social Welfare Department has been declared as Nodal Agency to implement Forest Act and Director of Social Welfare has been declared as Nodal Officer for this purpose. State level Committee, Sub-Divisional Committees are yet to be constituted. According to various letters of Ministry of Environment and Forest for past four years ‘no claimant be displaced until and unless their rights are inquired into’, ‘their habitat, cultivation practices, grazing lands etc are must not be disturbed. And according to Forest Act 2006, ‘cultivation, grazing, habitat is allowed even inside wildlife sanctuaries.’ Forest Act 2006 supersedes all other existing Acts. And ‘Forest officials violating Forest Rights Act 2006 is constitutes an offence and officers are liable to be punished with fine of Rs.2000/-. Emphasis on Critical Wildlife Habitat does not rule out the protection of People’s rights living and cultivating inside Forest areas. No tree cutting is allowed in “Private Forest” but it is allowed in “Government Forest”.

Jason Keith Fernandes: The focus of the Forest Department is on critical wildlife habitats and does not take care of People’s rights inside the forest.

Ramesh Gauns intervening in the discussion observed that more Forest areas needs to be identified or they will go under mining projects. He further pointed out that 570 square kilometers of land in Sanguem taluka is under forest cover. In this taluka of Snguem there are 295 mining leases. Forest department has to prepare preliminary feasibility report about what mining leases when activated will do to Forest cover. Milind Karkhanis intervening in the discussion said that this has to be policy decision of the government.

Advocate John Fernandes questioned as to why Forest department remains absent during the Public Hearing conducted it the state of Goa to start opencast mining even where the land is classified forest land? Sandand Gaonkar substantiated this by pointing out that during the recent Public Hearing for mining in Sattari taluka by Damodar Mangalji, Garco and Timblo mining companies in classified Forest none from Forest department was present. Advocate Fernandes pointed out that Forest land has been demarcated as active mining lease under survey number 19/1 of Cavrem, Quepem in Regional Plan 2021 (RP-2021). He further said that Forest department must study RP-2021.

Purso Kushta Gaonkar and Vithoba Pauto Gaonkar, Colamb, Sanguem:

Around 30 years ago planted cashew trees inside the forest in land surveyed under survey no.12 of Colomb village of Sanguem Taluka. Area of around 1 hectare is possession of Purso K Gaonkar. Forest department then planted some wild trees in this land without uprooting the Cashew trees planted by me. Forest department then inserted its name as occupant in land records. Currently there are around 100 cashew trees raised by Purso Gaonkar and 200 trees raised by Vithoba Pauto Gaonkar and they continue to harvest the same. Thier only source of income comes from Cashew harvest. Forest department often scolds them in Forest but they do not cut our cashew trees. They have families including Purso Kusto Gaonkar’s two minor children to support with one at 13 and younger at 8 in their age. Highest level of education any person in Purso’s family to get formal education is his brother who has completed XII class. They had filed application to regularize his cultivation in Forest land with the mamlatdar sometime in early 1980s but no action has been taken on this for the past over 20 years.

Communidades: How they exploit Goa's tribal people

The below are deposition on various communidades in Goa and how they are exploiting Goa's tribal people. These depositions took place on May 30-31, 2009 at People's Tribunal headed by Justice Suresh Hosbet, a retired High Court Judge of Bombay High Court.

Mahesh Vittal Gawde, Bandora, Ponda:

Land occupied by tribal people are not recorded in official land documents. In 1971 survey, people who are not the residents of concerned villages recorded as owners and people who are cultivating are excluded from entering their names in land records. Financial position is weak so cannot afford costly litigation to get the names in land records. Ragi, Cereals and other cultivations are carried on by tribal people. How even after generations of cultivation of land tribal people is not yet recorded on I&XIV form. Now forest department has planted trees on our land. Due to this fear is prevalent that Forest department may take over the land.

Government is acquiring communidade lands for military camp in Durbat and Bandora villages. These lands are tribal lands. Communidades office bearers do not entertain tribal people’s requests to include their names as title holders of land. All the office bearers of Communidade are Saraswat Brahmins. This community is carrying on the tyranny over tribal people.

Advocate John Fenandes, member, Expert panel:

Communidade of Rivona had donated the land to forest department for the purpose of plantation of trees. This land however is now used for dumping of mining rejections.

Shailesh Uttam Gawde, Dutel Wada, Madkai:

Purchased land in 1943 when Goa was under Portuguese colonial rule. After the Liberation of Goa in 1961 land survey was conducted. After this survey land titles were prepared. In the post liberation land record his land bearing survey no 391/0 of Madkai, Ponda has been recorded as that belonging to Communidade of Madkai. His family is in cultivatory possession of this land for the past 75 years. He want his name be included in the land title documents as a occupant in place of Communidade of Madkai.

Devidas Babuso Gawde, Laxmi K Gawde, Naresh Naik, and Prahavati P. Gawde, all residents of Nagueshi, Bandora, Ponda:

80 years ago their ancestors in Farmagudi cultivated ‘Mollo’ on top of the hill in Bandora village survey numbers 228, 274, 275, 276, 278, 277 etc. 44 families are involved in cultivation. Nachno, Varai, Chibdam, Bhende, Mullo, Padvallah, Tambdi bhaji etc were cultivated on a hill top. The land is divided amongst cultivators and they put up hut to guard their vegetables etc. They stay there during cultivation period.

The cultivators names are not included in the land survey records. Recently they have organized themselves into Srikrishna Bhajipala Lagvad Society to strengthen their unity.

Cultivators collect money and pay to the Communidade of Bandora. But Communidade accepts money but does not issue receipts. This was a practice before 1980. After 1980 cultivators formed committee and paid rend to the Communidade. Communidade issued some receipts which cultivators are in possession of.

Cultivators filed case in Mamlatdar’s Court in Ponda but Mamlatdar did not take any action. The case is pending for the past 15 years. Now the cultivators are told that their file is lost.

The absence of land records creates lots of problems for these cultivators. Recently when the road – highway connecting Ponda to Margao was constructed some cultivators lost their land. Due to absence of their names in the official land records none of them was entitled to receive compensation.

Then another project is coming up in the plantation land of Indian Medical Association (IMA). Communidade issued No Objection Certificate (NOC) for this project. Cultivators have objected to this but Communidade has proceeded ahead and sold this land to the IMA against the wishes of the cultivators. Construction work has started. Communidade has buried the old existing quarry pits that farmers used as source of water on the top of the hill.

Water connection is denied to the cultivators as Communidade refuses to issue No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the cultivators. NOC of the owner is mandatory and on record Communidade of Bandora holds legal title as owner. Communidade officials has been discouraging the cultivators from getting names on the land records and counsel the cultivators “cultivate as you’ll have been cultivating before – without legal land titles.”

Laxmi Keshav Gawde from the same group of cultivators in Bandora: Four years ago the cultivators’ huts on hill top got burnt when fire broke out. They then went to the Panchayat to claim compensation. Panchayat asked them to prove that they have title over the land over which huts existed. Cultivators could not produce any papers of evidence in this aspect. Due to absence of land titles they are not able to avail of Electricity connection and Public Water supply connection.

Cultivators are engaged in growing of Touxim, Moghim, Bhende as a source of income. They do not have any other source of income.

Prabhavati Prabhakar Gawde from the same group of cultivators in Bandora: Since there is no water at the cultivation site they walk for half an hour to fetch water for their plantations. They grow Bananas, Papayas and Coconut throughout the year. They grow Touxim in rainy season. They also grow flowers for local market.

Discussion with Jury and Expert panel on the above case:

  • They stay on the hill to guard their plots of plantations. If they do not stay on the hill top then they cannot get agriculture produce as their produce may be robbed.
  • Panchayat refused water connection since their huts are not registered.
  • Communidade is exerting pressure on cultivators to give up cultivation but cultivators are helpless as they cannot go in any any other occupation other than cultivating. For daily expenses selling of cultivated flowers is their only source of income.
  • Cultivators want to retain the land they are cultivating as the source of livelihood.
  • Cultivators are facing the tyranny of Bandora communidade.
  • While fetching water for plantations cultivators particularly women – has to climb steep slopes on foot.
  • In order to implement vermicullture scheme of the Goa government they need to construct shade in their plantation. In order to get the permission for this purpose cultivator approached local Panchayat. Panchayat did not give permission to construct as the cultivator do not posses title over the land. Women cultivators had come to know about the vermiculture scheme from the Goa government. This scheme is promoted by Self-help group of Mahila Mandals where women are its members. In this particular case Self-help group promoters were in position to intervene in this problem of land titles. Around 100 families depend upon Communidade land. Cultivation is carried on in rainy season (June to September).

Disha Deepak Karmalkar, Mollar, Corlim, Tiswadi:

Disha has fields near Carambolim Lake that her family used to grow paddy for past many generations. They used to grow both Rabbi as well as Kharif. Now there is a halt in cultivation for past one year. Around 50 cultivators were not able to cultivate this land for two reasons. First, agriculture department did not sent tractor to cultivate in spite of payment being made to this effect. Disha herself made payment to this effect last year. Tractor came but refused to enter the fields and sent back to its Panjim office.

Second reason is the lying down of irrigation pipeline has blocked access of the farmers to their fields. Pipeline has created elevation thereby obstructing the smooth traditional passage of the farmers to and from their agricultural fields. Due to this farmers are unable to enter fields and sow their seedlings. Pipeline of one meter diameter laid over the elevation needed a use of ladder when the paddy was cultivated last.

All the farmers here are registered as tenants and legal owner of this land is Communidade of Carambolim. Disha questioned “Can’t Communidade of Carambolim give this land to the farmers?” She expressed that all the Communidade land where farmers are cultivating must be legally transferred to them (farmers) as owners.

Disha pointed out that some land of the Carambolim Communidade has been earmarked for industry. “Now if Communidade can give land for industry then why the same can’t be given to farmers for agriculture? Why farmers’ rights are denied?”

Ulhas Kakode from Agriculture department who was present on the occasion responded to some aspects of Disha’s quaries. He said that problem regarding tractor from agriculture department, he will sort out the problem and see to that Disha’s fields are ploughed during oncoming monsoons with the help of agriculture department’s tractor. He also agreed that punitive action will be taken against concerned person responsible to withdraw agriculture department tractor from entering into Disha’s fields in Carambolim.

Mohandas Pandu Gawde, Kavlem, Bandora:

His land where he cultivates is very high on the top of the hill. There is no access road to reach there hence one has to walk and carry all the materials to and from the hill on head. All together there are 9 families cultivate in 33,000 square meters of land.

Forest department is trying to establish legal control on the part of this land. Forest department officials enter the land question the cultivators to show their legal ownership titles of this land under their cultivation for past more than 75 years.

Kavlem Bandora Communidade desires to give this land to film city.

Lots of portion of this land is rocky so cultivation is not undertaken. Cultivation is undertaken only on land where there is soil. So the cultivators told Communidade that it can go ahead and do whatever they want to do on this land and leave the land with soil to the cultivators for cultivation purpose.

Mohandas expressed surprise “Bandora Communidade is selling land to various private parties but why it is not giving to us farmers?

In Durbhat plots for film city are earmarked they can be seen. Only land where farmers are cultivating is remaining to be marked for film city. Survey number of this area is 80/0.

Communidade used to be paid rent by the farmers but land records do not show farmers’ names.

Cultivators do not have money to invest in litigations.

Discussions initiated by Jury and Expert panel members:

Cultivation is undertaken at the height of over 500 meters on the top of the hill. Farmers get the cultivation produce only what is left over by wild animals.

Farmers are deliberately harassed so that they give up cultivation.

Tribals in Goa are invisibalised. Representation of Goa to the World outside is that it is a holiday home for Indian Upper Caste. There is Colonial relationship in place in Goa.

Santosh Antu Gawde, Arla, Keri, Ponda:

He had applied for declaration as Mundcar in 1992 but still has not happened. He is unaware of current status of the matter. He has a plot of 400 square meters in his possession. The property is owned by Communidade of Keri.

Justice Hosbet Suresh’s concluding speech at Peoples' Tribunal on May 31, 2009

For two days 60 people came and spoke about land, Homelands; what is happening there.

As I saw their faces – a sense of desperation – nobody is there to do justice.

People’s Tribunal is meant to uphold right to live with dignity. Constitution of India advocated Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Justice – Social, Economic and Political. You all are striving for Justice.

Constitution guarantees right to speech but no right to food. It guarantees right to Occupation and Business but no right to work and livelihood. It guarantees right to Travel but when tribals are displaced from their own homeland they have no right to stay in your own homeland.

Now whether communidade can give land to cultivators or to outsiders, this is Disha’s question. Basic question is who gets right to have the land? Who gets right to sky, right to Sea? It is a People who get the right.

We People of India made Sovereignity. People have right over above the State.

1970s, 1980s were golden period of the Constitution. Right to life was interpreted to include right to livelihood. Right to Food, Right to Education, Right to Environment, Right to Shelter is included in Right to life. Supreme Court interpreted right to Life as Right to Live with Dignity.

What is a Right and Role of communidade when it says it won’t give land to community? Communidade has trusteeship, People has Right to Communidade land.

Communidade land for industrial purpose? This trend has come from British Colonial times. Land Acquisition Act has been used for this purpose in Nandigram, Singur for Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Agriculture is not public purpose? Agriculture produces food. Without food who can live in this country?

There are higher principles – Human Rights are Fundamental Rights. Judges in past understood. Not sure if today’s Judges understood. There are large scale Human Rights violations in Goa in tribal areas. People’s tribunal is an inquiry into this from Human Rights angle. Encroachment by mining companies, encroachments by forest departments, Absence of legal land documents with tribals are all Human Right Violations.

Your Chief Minister talks about development. Development does not mean Industry, Buildings and Mining. Development means respect to Tribals.

There should be complete stop to harassment to Tribals by Forest department. Forest Rights Act 2006 must be implemented in Goa.

All the mining leases affecting people must be cancelled. It causes Human Rights violations and environmental right violations.

I add my voice to People’s Tribunal, to what you said. Report will be prepared. You must always fight, must never stop crying. Protest, exercise your right to dissent. Struggle has to go on.

Police harrasments to villagers of Caregal, Khola

There has been increasing police harassment to the villagers of Caregall, Khola in Goa's southernmost taluka of Canacona. This time the target of police has been an adivasi villagers defending their village land. This has been going on for the past one and half week. Police enter the village and then orders the villagers come either to Agonda police station or to Canacona Police station. Local youth Puno Saklu Velip is being specifically the target of police actions triggered by high level nexus between land sharks, real estate dealers and Mamlatdar of Canacona Vinayak Volvoikar. More details in this regard are awaited.

Syngenta gas leaks generates wave of protests in Dhulapi

Gas leak from Swiss multinational pesticides plant located at Dhulapi, Tiswadi on November 26 2009 night send wave of protests amongst the villagers in the neighborhood villages. Leakage of gas from this factory at Santa Monica works led to disturbances of school students of Sharada English High School located towards the east of the factory in Marcel village.

Parents of the affected students has filed the complaint with school authorities in this regard.

Later in the evening at around 9.00 pm again the leakage in the factory was smelled by the Dhulapi villagers. Villagers had already intimated Police authorities about the routine leakage after November 13 mock drill fiasco in the village. This time villagers telephoned police phone number got police on the spot at the gate of the Syngenta on Highway at 1.30 am in the mid-night with fire brigade accompanying the police. Syngenta's security refused to let in police as well as the fire brigade inside the gate immediately and engaged in delay tactics for the 45 minutes. At around 2.15 am police, fire brigade and villagers were invited to enter inside the factory gate. The villagers then refused to enter and protested the delay tactics adopted by the Syngenta management. Villagers then took fire brigade personel into the Dhulapi village where in leaked smell of chemicals was strongly felt.

No more Bhopals!

Join in solidarity with villagers of Dhulapi who will commemorate 25 years of BHOPAL DISASTER on December 03, 2009 at 4.00 pm.

Dhulapi in Corlim Panchayat in Goa's Tiswadi taluka is facing industrial disaster due to Swiss multinational pesticides factory – SYNGENTA.

MONDAY MUSE (30 November 2009)

No more Bhopals!

Yesterday, 45 workers at the Kaiga nuclear plant in Karwar, Karnataka suffered from radiation from contaminated water. While the Atomic Energy Commission may allege an act of sabotage, the worst fears are coming true for all who were opposed to the setting up of the plant. Sadly, we refuse to learn the lessons from man-made disasters.

Twenty-five years ago, at midnight on 3 December 1984, it was a tryst with fatality for over 500,000 people in Bhopal. The Union Carbide plant released methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals, killing nearly 10,000 in 72 hours and thrice the number have since died from gas-afflicted diseases. Even now, 390 tonnes of toxic chemicals abandoned at the plant continue to contaminate the ground water in Bhopal and affect its residents.

Here in Goa, hazardous wastes from polluting industries is released into surface as well as ground waters. Man made disasters are a creation of callous corporates for whom profits are a greater priority than the lives of human beings. Our natural resources and human resource are under attack by the pied pipers of economic prosperity. The appreciation of wealth of a few is resulting in the depreciation of the health of many.

It is only at our peril that we can ignore the menace, of ‘toxification’ of our ecosystem. Any act that worsens the condition of land and lives cannot be accepted as development. But plain indignation by the citizens can never suffice. It would be better to commit ourselves to real actions to ensure that there are no more Bhopals! We must treat all man made disasters as acts of bio-terrorism and counter them, their promoters and apologists as such.

To BE BETTER at learning the Bhopal lesson,

We must treat man made disasters as treason!

- Pravin K. Sabnis

Goa, India

Centre decries illegal mining

For over nearly two years now, Leader of the Opposition Manohar Parrikar has been demanding that the Goa government should take action against illegal mining of iron ore. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has pointed out that close to one-third of the ore exported from Goa is from illegal mines.

But the Goa government has been dragging its feet. It gives assurances in the Legislative Assembly, but takes little concrete action. Issuing show cause notices and stop work orders, the government’s favourite mode of ‘action’, accomplishes little.

What is needed is to seize expensive mining machinery from these illegal mines and to stop export of illegally mined ore. It is only when they are hit where it hurts - in earnings - that illegal miners and exporters of illegally mined ore will think twice about what they are doing.
Now, it is not just the opposition but the central government that has slammed mineral-rich states like Goa for doing little or nothing to contain illegal mining. On Friday, Union Mines Minister Bijoy Krishna Handique firmly told mining secretaries of mineral-rich states to prepare “state-specific action plans within a week”. The minister said his ministry has issued a specific directive to the states to submit reports on this every month.

Mining Secretaries of Goa, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh were present at the meeting. The minister also asked the states to prohibit sale of illegally mined minerals and assured that it will institutionalise mechanisms to keep a close watch on ports and railway sidings. Mr Handique told states that their lackadaisical way of dealing with the problem has led to it assuming endemic proportions.

The union ministry will ask states to monitor the quantum of ore mined and the offtake of the mineral. It wants “intense scrutiny” of iron ore lying at ports and railway sidings, to ascertain whether it was mined in accordance with approved plans. Buyers of ore will have to ensure that their ore is not illegally mined, and will have to produce vouchers showing that royalty has been paid on the ore they purchased. In Goa, nearly all the mined ore is exported. So will exporters have to fulfil the responsibility of buyers too?

Quaintly, in the course of the meeting, the union minister told the state mining secretaries that his ministry would be ready to approach the Union Home Ministry in case any state felt the need for special police forces to crack down on illegal mining. That would be a first, in Goa, where the police forces invariably protect the mine operators - legal or illegal, right or wrong - and crack down on the protesting public.

Editorial in Herald, November 30 2009, Panaji

Villagers to oppose any grant of mining lease in Balli


Villagers of Balli on Sunday unanimously resolved to oppose any grant of mining lease in the village.

Villagers turned up in large numbers for the Sunday gram sabha which was convened specifically to discuss the permission sought by a mining company for a lease to carry out mining activities in the area.

Agitated villagers vehemently protested against what they termed as the delay by the revenue officials from Quepem taluka to display the notice in the village panchayat office within the time frame.

They demanded to how a major lapse could take place when the notice was displayed well after the expiry of the deadline and called for action against the erring officials.

Conveying a message loud and clear to the government authorities that villagers will not tolerate any mining activity in the village, the villagers have resolved to continue the movement under the banner of Ghanv Bachao Samiti to take the agitation to the logical conclusion. A committee headed by Shanu Velip has been set up to pursue the matter.

Some of the villagers called for a gherao of the Quepem Mamlatdar to demand explanation over the serious lapse of displaying the notice inviting suggestions and objections from the public to the mining lease.

Some of the villagers are planning to convene a public meet in Balli shortly to oppose the mining lease but also to condemn the lapse from the government authorities. It is likely that neighboring villages of Morpilla, Fatorpa and Barcem may also join the agitation as the mining companies have also sought mining lease in these villages as well.

Herald, November 30 2009, Panaji

In Solidarity with Dhulapi People against Syngenta

Goa Federation of Mines Affected People (GOAMAP) extends solidarity and support to People of Dhulapi and Mangado villages in Corlim Panchayat jurisdiction in Tiswadi taluka in their struggle demanding that multinational pesticides plant Syngenta quits and handover agricultural land - under Syngenta occupation for the past 40 years - back to the villagers.

GOAMAP believes Syngenta causes grave danger to the people in the neighborhood in case of leakages of chemicals inside the plant. GOAMAP is opposed to location of any hazardous chemical plants in the thickly populated areas and questions the wisdom of those who allowed such a project in the thickly populated area in Corlim Panchayat jurisdiction. In case of any disaster at Syngenta tragedy in which thousands of people lost their lives overnight, caused 25 years ago after Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal will be repeated in Goa.

In order to prevent the industrial disaster of this nature GOAMAP believe that Syngenta must plan to safely fold up their operations at Santa Monica Plant, Corlim at the earliest. This is best way out prevent tragedy as the Syngenta has callously neglected the safety precautions for its neighborhoods for the past 40 years.

Mock drill-types sought to be forced on people by State in collusion with Syngenta on November 13, 2009 is not the solution to this ticking time bomb in Goa.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bhopal Day commemoration in Dhulapi, Corlim

Villagers of Dhulapi, Corlim will commemorate 25 years of Bhopal disaster on December 03, 2009 at 4.00 pm. All those wish to participate and offer solidarity to Dhulapi people are welcomed to participate. Dhulapi village is facing industrial disaster in the form of Swiss multinational pesticides factory - Syngenta occupying land in their village along with Mangado - both in Corlim panchayat jurisdiction in Goa's Tiswadi taluka.

Tiger/tigress present in Quepem Forest in Goa

Against the claim of Forest department that there are no tigers in the forest of Goa, villagers of Cavrem Maina of Quepem taluka claims that there are tigers inhabitants in forest of Cavrem - Maina.

Villagers of Cavrem claims that they have personally seen tigers attacking cattles. One Fondu Velip of Cavrem stated that 8 days back he had personally seen a tiger attacking a cow in the Devapan Dongor Forest while cleaning the cashew plantation. “That when I cleaning my cashew plantation a tiger attacked a grazing cattle when I shouted the Tiger left the cattle and run away."

One Tulshidas Velip of Velipwada Cavrem informed that few days back they had seen a bison in the Forest of Savrem Kodem Donger which was partly decomposed. Most of the parts of the byson were eaten. The bison certainly would have been killed by a Tiger as no other forest animal can kill a bison. He further informed that since last few days a full grown bull of Sada Babu Velip of Velipwada, Cavrem is missing. These are the signs of presence of Tiger in the area he informed further.

Villagers of Cavrem Maina informed that as there are Tigers in the Forest of Maina and Cavrem, the forest cover in Jolerancho Dongor, Devapan Dongor Adoshi Dongor, Savri Koden Dongor, Zori Dongor requires to be protected as the same is under threat due to rapid mining activities going on in the area.

When contacted RFO Kirlagali Cavrem Shri Suresh Pednekar informed that his officials informed him that they have seen a tigress moving in the forest of Kirlagali, Cavrem. He further informed that he has personally not seen the presence of Tigress in the Kirlagal Forest, but in the days to come he will personally try to find out the presence of Tigress in the area.

John Fernandes