India

A notice from the Supreme Court to the Centre regarding a plea seeking protection for forest staff

The Supreme Court gave notice on Thursday to a plea requesting protection for forest staff increasingly facing hostile antisocial elements in discharging their duties and getting slapped with the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1998, when they act in self-defense.

Justice B R Gavai’s two-judge bench issued notice to the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) and the state of Telangana regarding a case filed by Senior Advocate A D N Rao, who is an amicus curiae in forest and wildlife law.

It’s about Forest Range Officer (FRO) Challamalla Srinivas, who died on November 22 after allegedly being assaulted by tribals over forest land in Bhadradri Kothagudem district of Telangana.

As an example of how important the job of forest officials is, it said Forest Service takes part in plantations, compensatory afforestation, and wildlife protection.

As a whole, the Forest Department’s work reduces global warming, carbon sequestration, and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, the plea said. Recently, forest staff/officials are increasingly being attacked by hostile anti-social elements and lawbreakers, who are committing forest crimes with impunity and brutally assaulted while doing their jobs….”

There have been recent instances where poachers and encroachers attacked the Forest Department staff and officers.

As the attack happens deep inside the forest, they’re outnumbered and can’t defend themselves or call for help. Whenever they act in self-defence, they get booked under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1998,” it said.

“Since the new law granted Forest Rights to the Forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who could prove occupancy in 2005 was passed, attacks on forest officers and forest staff have gone up.” “This is causing lawlessness in the forest,” it said.

In the application, the court asked for “urgent directions” from the court so that “the concerned authorities provide protection to the officials while they’re on duty” and prayed that the offenders and the concerned states would take strict action against them, along with the police force’s help in dealing with and preventing serious forest offenses that cause massive forest destruction.

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Nisha

Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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