[lang_en]Shimla: The Himachal Kisan Sabha has decided to protest on Monday for restoration of forest timber distribution (TD) rights to the local communities that have been stalled by a High Court order.
The demonstrations would be held at block levels, says Tikender Panwar member Himachal Kisan Sabha, and a memorandum addressed to the chief justice of the High Court would be submitted to government officers.
The memorandum highlights the plight of farmers and the people, whose traditional rights, which even the British administration had accepted stand stalled after an interim order of the High Court completely banned use of TD rights, he said.
He added that the demonstrations would also submit a signature campaign, which has been collected through a month long campaign.
The courts have failed to grasp the gravity of the problem and has not been able to assess the loss which the people have been forced to face, says Onkar, another member of the Sabha. “Banning it has brought a complete moratorium on “TD”rights which is separate from the timber used construction purposes.
He further said that the ban had restricted entry of the farmers into jungles for gathering fuel wood, fodder for their animals, and even for the medicinal herbs. There have innumerable instances where the sickle of the women folk of the state have been confiscated when they were getting fodder leaves for their cattle.
In total disregard of local needs, even for the burning corpses, poor villagers are forced to buy wood from the corporation, says Panwar.
The Sabha has also decided to represent the Kisans in the High Court and become a party to the ongoing TD rights case, he said.[/lang_en]