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.
is not implemented in
People have cultivated cashew tree, mango trees, coconut trees etc for past many generations in Khotigoa village.
Dhowlo Babu Velip, Avali, Khotigao, Cancaona,
Forest Department is cutting down peoples’ grown up cashew plantations and planting wild trees. There is harassment from
Sada Sangodkar, Murmunne, Sattari:
Traditionally tribal people inhabited forest lands in various parts of
Vasu Laxman Gawde, Nanuz, Usgao, Ponda:
Tribal people are cultivating for many generation in
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.
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,
Settlement of Rights have not taken place in
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
Advocate John Fernandes questioned as to why Forest department remains absent during the Public Hearing conducted it the state of
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