Ministry matters

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas assures NHRC that there will be no eviction of Chakmas, Deoris without compensation

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has assured the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that no forced evictions will be carried out without paying compensation to those affected in the alleged forced eviction case. Chakmas and Deoris communities in Changlang district. Arunachal Pradesh for “onshore oil and gas exploration”. Earlier, the NHRC in its order dated August 31, 2022 closed the complaint against the alleged forced eviction of Chakmas and Deoris from Mudokka Nallah and Sompoi-II villages under Diyun Circle of Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh for the “Onshore Oil and Gas Exploration and Development and Drilling and Production in Ningru Oil and Gas Field in Changlang and Namsai Districts for Ningru PML Block by M/S Oil India Ltd” after that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas informed the NHRC that “no forced evictions will be carried out without compensating those affected. Action must be taken in accordance with law.”

If dissatisfied with the action taken, the complainant is free to pursue the appropriate legal procedures. The matter is closed with the above direction, the NHRC said. Meanwhile, the Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI) filed a complaint on January 20, 2022 against the attempted eviction of the Chakmas and Deoris by the state government in collusion with the company Oil India Ltd without paying a fair compensation under the provisions of the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013, by claiming the land as forest for the purpose of not paying fair compensation and rehabilitation as required by the LARR Act .

The CDFI declared that the Chakma and Deori families are “project-affected families” pursuant to section 3(c) of the LARR Act. Section 3(c) of the LARR Act states that an affected family includes a family whose land or other immovable property has been acquired; a family which does not own any land but a member or members of such a family may be agricultural workers, tenants including any form of tenancy or right of usufruct, sharecroppers or craftsmen or who may work in the area affected for three years prior to land acquisition, whose main source of livelihood is affected by land acquisition; a family whose main source of livelihood for the three years prior to land acquisition depends on forests or water bodies and includes gatherers of forest products, hunters, fishers and boatmen and such livelihoods are affected due to land acquisition. However, for decades Moddaka Nallah was resided by Chakma tribes and Sompoi-II village was resided by Deori tribes. The Chakmas were settled in the village of Moddaka Nallah in 1966 and the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh in the Arunachal Pradesh Gazette dated August 31, 2006 renamed the village of Moddaka Nallah to Modduknong, the plaintiff said .

“This protective order from the NHRC will go a long way to securing the rights of the Chakmas and Deoris affected by the project. The families affected by the project do not oppose the oil drilling project per se, but seek compensation in accordance with the law LARR that the Forestry Department denies as it seeks compensation for itself, which is illegal and unfortunate,” CDFI Founder Suhas Chakma said in a statement.(ANI)

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