Call To Protect Cultivation Rights Of  Patha Mallampeta Gadaba Adivasis

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) calls upon the State government to safeguard the interests of Gadaba adivasis who have been cultivating land in Patha Mallampeta of Golugonda mandal in Narsipatnam division of Anakapalli district. Steps must be taken, without further delay, to ensure that their names are reflected as the cultivators in the relevant revenue records and their cultivation rights are duly protected. The express assurances given by the AP Scheduled Tribes Commission Chairman, on October 14 this year, to the Gadabapalem adivasis to the effect that reports by the Golugonda mandal surveyor and the former Golugonda tahsildhar would be annulled within a week and action taken against the two for committing illegalities, must be fulfilled.

A two-member HRF fact-finding team visited Gadabapalem and Patha Mallampeta (in Golugonda mandal) on 9-11-2022 and spoke with resident Gadaba adivasi farmers including many women. We examined the extensive cultivation being done in Survey No 850-1 of Patha Mallampeta village and perused several records pertaining to this cultivation. These include old and recent official revenue records.

We were able to determine that a total of 25 families of the Gadaba tribe (classified as PVTGs – Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Communities) of Gadabapalem have been farming in an extent of 36 acres in Survey No 850-1 of Patha Mallampeta since about fifty years. They are mainly raising cashew, mango, teak, palmyra trees on the bunds and several dry crops. It was clear to us that for the adivasis this was their principal, and in the case of most of the 25 families, their only source of livelihood.

It was also evident to us that since March this year, some NRIs, in collusion with unscrupulous land grabbers as well as local revenue officials, are attempting to grab these 36 acres. This is being sought to be done by putting out fraudulent records in respect of the cultivation and possession and by deploying the police to detain, threaten and harass the adivasis. In fact, on March 11 this year, the then SI of Golugonda Dhanunjaya Naidu detained several Gadaba farmers, including women, at the police station from 7 pm to midnight and sought to persuade them to accept money being offered by the NRIs and to abandon the land.

The reports by then tahsidhar K Venkateswara Rao to the Narsipatnam RDO dated 29-3-2022 and to the AD, Survey and Land Records, Anakapalli dated 15-6-2022 and the official report by the Golugonda mandal surveyor to the Anakapalli Survey and Land Records AD, dated 10-6-2022, wilfully suppress the stark fact of the Gadaba adivasis cultivating the said land in 36 acres. They did this despite being fully aware of the actual possession and cultivation by the adivasis on ground.

Pertinently, the present Narsipatnam RDO has, on two occasions last month, personally inspected the land being cultivated by the Gadaba farmers. We demand therefore, that the details of cultivators in Survey No. 850-1 be recorded in the requisite Land Register (No 3 Adangal Column 13) without further delay and justice done to the Gadaba farmers. We also call for action against the former Golugonda tahsildhar and the former Golugonda SI for trying to threaten and wrongfully dispossess the adivasis from the land that is in their possession and cultivation.

VS Krishna
HRF AP&TS Coordination Committee member

P Raghu
HRF Visakhapatnam district president


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