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Forest official fires in air to disperse protesting tribals in Gujarat

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Chhotaudepur (Gujarat), June 15 (Ajit Weekly News) On Wednesday morning, when forest officials reached a plantation for social forestry in Gondariya village, tribals opposed the plantation claiming that the forest land was owned by them and for generations their families had been cultivating these lands. To disperse the tribal group, forest officials opened fire in the air.

A Chhotaudepur police station officer said a First Information Report is being registered.

Gondariya village’s Varjubhai Rathwa told the local media that on Tuesday when forest officials came to survey the land for plantation, we had opposed them and requested them not to plant on this land as they had been cultivating this land for generations. They have also filed applications to transfer the land rights in their names. These applications are pending. If plantation takes place, they will lose their livelihood.

Yet, on Wednesday, forest officials came with workers and started digging the land for plantation. When the villagers learned about it, people gathered and reached the spot and opposed it. Forest officials accompanied by the police prevented them, and when they continued protesting, the police resorted to a lathicharge and a forest officer opened fire in the air, claimed Rathwa.

Rathwa said some protesters were detained and taken to police stations, some are injured and are being treated at the hospital. A delegation led by him has submitted a memorandum to the district collector, demanding a fair investigation against the forest officials.

Chhotaudepur Collector Stuti Charan was not reachable and District Superintendent of Police Dharmendra Sharma was busy in arrangements for the Prime Minister’s proposed visit on Saturday.

–Ajit Weekly News

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