One day in the summer of 2013, Balakrushna Jani, one of the leaders of Burlubaru village in Kandhamal district of southern Odisha, heard from a farmer that some men were planting saplings on forest land a few kilometres outside the village. As per the Forest Rights Act, the land in question belonged to the villagers–primarily of the Kutia Kondh tribe, classified as particularly vulnerable due to their small numbers–and was part of the 50 hectares they had left fallow as per usual practice….

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