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Eviction from Kanha Tiger Reserve, MP, India

Mass eviction from Kanha Tiger Reserve and violation of forest rights to the traditional indigenous Baiga community living in the park.


The Kanha Tiger Reserve and National Park, extending to a total area of 2051.79 sq km including a critical tiger habitat (core) area of 917.43, represents one of the largest national park in the state of Madhya Pradesh, central India. It was notified as a National Park in 1955, and later acquired the status of Tiger reserve in 1973-74. Almost 80 per cent of the total human population living within and around the park is considered to be tribal and the majority belongs to the semi-nomadic tribe of Baiga and Gond, who have lived in this area since centuries. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Eviction from Kanha Tiger Reserve, MP, India
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
Specific commodities:Ecosystem Services
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Kanha Tiger Reserve and National Park, is one of the tiger reserves of India and the largest national park of Madhya Pradesh, in the heart of India. The present day Kanha area is divided into two sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar, of 250 and 300 sq km respectively. Kanha National Park was created on 1 June 1955 and in 1973 was declared as Kanha Tiger Reserve. The Critical Tiger Habitat was declared on 24th December 2007 for an area of 914.73 sq km, without following the provisions as per FRA and WLPA amend., sec. 38V. As per MEE report, 2014 the Phen Wildlife Sanctuary, which was recently freed of human habitation after the lone village, Sajalgan in 2014 has also been observed as an important tiger habitat and the officials wish to include the sanctuary as part of the critical tiger habitat.

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Project area:113,436
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:22,000
Start of the conflict:2010
Relevant government actors:Madya Pradesh Forest Department
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
International and Finance InstitutionsWorld Wildlife Fund (WWF) from Switzerland
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Survival International (
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Baiga and Gond tribes
Forms of mobilization:Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Other Environmental impacts
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
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, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The needs of the local people have not been taken into consideration and most of the villages have been evicted without fair and just compensation from their forest land. This without respecting the forest rights recognized under the Indian law.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA), Amendment 2006
[click to view]

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

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Displacement and Relocation of Protected Areas: A Synthesis and Analysis of Case Studies, 2009. Economic and Political Weekly. Author: Langerscoix and Kothari. pg. 40.

[10] Summary report of National Consultation on Forest Rights Act and Protected Areas, 11-12th November 2013, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi. Published by Kalpavriksh.

[2] Down To Earth. Stop illegal eviction of tribes from Kanha Tiger Reserve, urge activists. Author: Sabreen Haziq. July 4, 2015.
[click to view]

[3] Live Mint. India urged stop evicting tribes from Kanha Tiger Reserve. Author: Nita Bhalla. Jan. 15, 2015.
[click to view]

[4] REDD Monitor. WWF scandal (part 6): Evictions of indigenous peoples in India for tiger tourism. July 23, 2015
[click to view]

[5] The Hindu. Mass evictions from tiger reserves: French TV. Author: K. Venkateshwarlu. July 23, 2015.
[click to view]

[6] Business Standard. With luxury encroaching in forest areas, tribals fear for their existence. June 18, 2016.
[click to view]

[7] Tribes Evicted from Kanha to Protect Tiger Reserve?
[click to view]

[8] Conservation Watch. Illegal evictions of Baiga indigenous people from India’s Kanha National Park. Author: Chris Lang. March 03, 2018.
[click to view]

[9] The Indian Express. A tribal tragedy: Baited by large compensation, Baigas of Kanha grapple with post-eviction dilemma. Author: Sajin Saju. May 30, 2017
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Testimoniance of Jolhar villagers fighting against the relocation from Kanha Tiger Reserve. By Survival International
[click to view]

Survival Campaign against the Baiga relocation
[click to view]

'Daslakhiya'. A movie about the eviction of Baiga tribes from Kanha Tiger Reserve and the corruption carried on by the Wildlife Responsible Authorities and Government.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Eleonora Fanari, [email protected]
Last update24/05/2019
Conflict ID:4181
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