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AKIPRESS.COM - India's Supreme Court has ordered the eviction of more than one million forest dwellers, a majority of whom belong to indigenous tribal communities, after the federal government failed to defend a law aimed at protecting their rights, Aljazeera reports.
The top court's order, dated February 13 and delivered in written form on Wednesday, was in response to a petition against the Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006, filed by some environmental groups and retired forest officers who said the law impeded conservation efforts.
Under the landmark Forest Rights Act, at least 150 million people could have had their rights recognised to about 40 million hectares of forest land.
The Supreme Court has asked officials in 16 states to submit details of rights claims settled, and "in the cases where claims have been rejected ... to ensure that eviction is made on or before the next date of hearing" on July 24.