Indian woman carries water in a metal pot on her head.
(photo credit: SAM PANTHAKY / AFP)
India’s Supreme Court has ordered the government to evict more than a million indigenous people from their homes for the good of the country’s wildlife, according to a report published by the Washington Post.
Last week, the court handed down the ruling in what is being described as a “startling conclusion” to a decade-long case. The courts said the people had to leave their homes because they did not meet legal criterion to live there.
Forest land in India is legally controlled by the government. But people have lived in these areas for centuries. Wildlife groups contend that granting rights to people to live on the forest land is an environmental hazard. However, the indigenous people who live there rely on the forest for daily needs and their livelihood.
However, according to the Post, it is unlikely that the people will be forced to move by the July 27 deadline as the ruling comes just weeks before India is slated to begin national election and the government is unlikely to want to evict voters from their homes during election season. Also, it is likely that there will be appeals.
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