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Barnawapara wildlife sanctuary, Chattisgarh, India

Protest and struggle against the relocation plan and the use of violence and criminalization against local indigenous people.


Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1976, in the state of Chhattisgarh. It is inhabited by Kondhs, Saura and Binjhwar tribes among others. In 2010 the Chhattisgarh government planned to relocate the 25 villages coming under the sanctuary; three villages — Rampur, Latadadar and Nawapara —were marked for the first round. To provide housing, agricultural land and other basic amenities, Rs 10 lakh was to be spent on each family. The total amount needed for this was Rs 13.5 crore [1]. Because the Sanctuary has not been notified as a Tiger Reserve, the economic resources available for the relocation activities have been taken both from the central government and from the CAMPA funds (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority), a scheme which is supposed to be used for reforestation activities. To carry on the relocation, the forest department received Rs 5.40 crore from Central Assistance and Rs 29.83 crore from CAMPA fund (Information given by Minister of Forest in Chhattisgarh Assembly on 17th July 2013). 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Barnawapara wildlife sanctuary, Chattisgarh, India
State or province:Chattisharh
Location of conflict:Kasdol
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biodiversity conservation conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Establishment of reserves/national parks
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Biological resources
Biological resources
Ecosystem Services
Ecosystem Services
Tourism services
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 245 sq. kilometers in the Mahasamund District of Chhattisgarh. After the passing of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, the Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1976. The altitude of this region ranges from 265 to 400 m. The wildlife species in the Barnawapara Sanctuary is varied. Of the total 25 villages within the boundaries of the sanctuary, 3 have been relocated while there are currently 22 villages remaining.

Project area:24,500
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:8,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2008
Relevant government actors:Chattisgarh Forest Department
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Dalit Adivasi Manch
Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
The area is inhabited by Kondhs, Saura and Binjhwar tribes among others
Forms of mobilization:Land occupation
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Refusal of compensation
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage)
Health ImpactsVisible: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Potential: Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Militarization and increased police presence
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
Proposal and development of alternatives:Recognition of community rights under the Forest Rights Act within the limits of the Wildlife Sanctuary
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The villagers continue to be oppressed and threatened by the Forest Officials. No recognition of the community rights.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act, 2006
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[click to view]

[1] Tehelka "The Green Route To Corruption", translated by CGbasket,in. Author: Pradeep Sati. 09.06.2014
[click to view]

[2] Fact Finding Report by PUCL in Barnawapara. July 26, 2018
[click to view]

[3] Times of India. "Chhattisgarh tribals oppose relocation from Barnawapara forest". Nov. 2, 2017
[click to view]

[4] The Times of India. "Won't leave our land: tribals protests in Barnawapara region". Oct. 24, 2017.
[click to view]

[8] Business Standard. 'Wildlife shrinks Vedanta's gold mine in Chattisgarh' Author: R Krishna Das. March 31, 2017.
[click to view]

[9] Scroll 'Vedanta plans to develop India’s first private gold mine in Chhattisgarh – and locals are worried'. Author: Rina Chandran, Thomson Reuters Foundation. May 08, 2017.
[click to view]

[10] Sruti 'The turning tides in Sonakhan' .
[click to view]

Times of India "Chhattisgarh tribals oppose relocation from Barnawapara forest". Author: Jayashree Nandi. Nov. 2, 2017.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[5] Stop Forceful Eviction and Atrocities against tribal families of Chattisgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. July 1, 2018.
[click to view]

Dharna against the illegal arrest of Rajkumar and the illegal eviction of Rampur village, Barnawapara. Video posted by Devendra Baghel in facebook, Jan.28, 2018
[click to view]

Other documents

Petition to National Commission of Scheduled Tribes (NCST), January 2018 Petition written by Dalit Adivasi Manch and Chattisgarh Bachao Andolan against the atrocities in Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary,
[click to view]

Other comments:We are thankful for the information shared by Devendra Baghel from Dalit Adivasi Manch.
Meta information
Contributor:Eleonora Fanari, ICTA (UAB), [email protected]
Last update11/04/2019
Conflict ID:4133
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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