On 13 February, close to two million forest-dwellers – almost eight percent of India’s population, faced a threat of eviction from their habitat. The Supreme Court, on hearing the petitions from wildlife conservation groups, ordered the state governments to evict these “illegal” dwellers and “encroachers”.
Almost six months later, on 12 September, the court will begin to hear the case, demanding a ‘clear picture’ on the rejection of tribals’ claim on forest lands.
What is the apex court order all about? How is it connected to the Forest Rights Act? What happened in the intervening six months? Here’s a short primer.