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Dudhwa women complain to Forest Rights Committee about illegal deforestation by Nepalis

Complaint filed by Tharu Adivasi Mahila Majdoor Kisaan Manch

Sabrangindia 28 Apr 2022

DudhwaNivada Rana taking stock of the damage at the concerned location


Tharu Adivasi women recently spotted illegal felling of trees in the Dudhwa forest located in Uttar Pradesh. Following this, they took the historic step of complaining about this to the Forest Rights Committee yesterday.

On April 27, 2022, the Tharu Adivasi Mahila Majdoor Kisaan Manch formally filed a complaint with the Forest Rights Committee regarding the illegal deforestation that was being undertaken by men and women from Nepal in a forest behind the Bankati range in Dudhwa.

As soon as members of their organisation heard the news on the morning of April 26, they reached the forests behind the Bankati range around 9:30 AM to see that approximately 70-75 men and women from Nepal were illegally cutting down timber and teak and collecting firewood without any ounce of fear. On being questioned, the trespassers revealed that they are often allowed by the forest officials to cut down the trees in the area if they are offered some money. They said that it is easier for them to access the forest as it is on the banks of Mohana river from where the stationed forest watcher lets them pass through. They even named the corrupt officers  - Forest Guard Narendra and Forest Watcher Vijay along with few other forest officers.

Member of the Tharu Adivasi Mahila Majdoor Kisaan Manch and Vice-President of All India Union of Forest Working Peoples (AIUFWP), Nivada Rana were filmed confronting the Nepalis on this issue as they were caught red-handed. In a video taken by the organisation, Rana says, “People from Nepal are cutting down the trees and taking away the wood from our ancestral forest land whereas we have to struggle to make ends meet on day-to-day basis.” She further said, “We are denied the forest produce which is in fact our right. It is our right to self-cultivate on our forest land to earn our livelihood, but we are harassed when we try to claim our rights. We, Indian nationals are suffering, while people from another country trespass our land, bribe the officials and take away what rightfully belongs to us.”

Here are some pictures to show you how the events unfolded on the ground

Nepali women caught with the wood they illegally collected

Freshly cut down wood captured

Women from Dudhwa handing over their complaint to the respective authority

In their complaint, they bring this to the notice of the Forest Rights Committee how on one hand, they are harassed, wrongfully arrested and denied their right to hold forest land for self-cultivation for livelihood and live on it under the Forest Rights Act, and on the other hand, such trespassers are allowed to brazenly violate the law. They claim that under the Forest Rights Act, 2006, it is their right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use and therefore, they believe that it is their responsibility to apprehend those who commit illegal acts and hand them over to the police.

However, they further claim that unfortunately, the police authorities often end up harassing them instead, under the influence of the Forest Department. Therefore, in their complaint they request the Forest Rights Committee to take this matter seriously and take legal action against the authorities and officials involved after undertaking a fair investigation.

The complaint may be read here: 

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Dudhwa women complain to Forest Rights Committee about illegal deforestation by Nepalis

Complaint filed by Tharu Adivasi Mahila Majdoor Kisaan Manch

DudhwaNivada Rana taking stock of the damage at the concerned location


Tharu Adivasi women recently spotted illegal felling of trees in the Dudhwa forest located in Uttar Pradesh. Following this, they took the historic step of complaining about this to the Forest Rights Committee yesterday.

On April 27, 2022, the Tharu Adivasi Mahila Majdoor Kisaan Manch formally filed a complaint with the Forest Rights Committee regarding the illegal deforestation that was being undertaken by men and women from Nepal in a forest behind the Bankati range in Dudhwa.

As soon as members of their organisation heard the news on the morning of April 26, they reached the forests behind the Bankati range around 9:30 AM to see that approximately 70-75 men and women from Nepal were illegally cutting down timber and teak and collecting firewood without any ounce of fear. On being questioned, the trespassers revealed that they are often allowed by the forest officials to cut down the trees in the area if they are offered some money. They said that it is easier for them to access the forest as it is on the banks of Mohana river from where the stationed forest watcher lets them pass through. They even named the corrupt officers  - Forest Guard Narendra and Forest Watcher Vijay along with few other forest officers.

Member of the Tharu Adivasi Mahila Majdoor Kisaan Manch and Vice-President of All India Union of Forest Working Peoples (AIUFWP), Nivada Rana were filmed confronting the Nepalis on this issue as they were caught red-handed. In a video taken by the organisation, Rana says, “People from Nepal are cutting down the trees and taking away the wood from our ancestral forest land whereas we have to struggle to make ends meet on day-to-day basis.” She further said, “We are denied the forest produce which is in fact our right. It is our right to self-cultivate on our forest land to earn our livelihood, but we are harassed when we try to claim our rights. We, Indian nationals are suffering, while people from another country trespass our land, bribe the officials and take away what rightfully belongs to us.”

Here are some pictures to show you how the events unfolded on the ground

Nepali women caught with the wood they illegally collected