Two Men Stand Up to Village Panchayat in Rajasthan to Protect Trees
In Udaipur’s Bichawada village, a Rajasthan caste panchayat is punishing two men for standing up to the destruction of trees.
The panchayat fined Onad Singh Rs. 45,000 for standing up to the cutting of the trees. His cousin then tried to defend him and he was fined Rs. 21,000. After the men refused to the pay the fine, the panchayat asked the villagers to socially boycott them.
Onad Singh told IANS:
“I saw some people cutting trees in a government school in Bichawada on January 10. I opposed it. On January 17, caste panchayat unexpectedly summoned me and directed me to pay Rs.45,000 for raising the issue”
Mr. Singh has filed a police report against the village panchayat.
It’s upsetting that amid all the research on the importance of trees in combating environmental destruction, these two men have had to fight so hard to protect their local environment. It is even more appalling that rather than having a discussion or considering the risks and benefits, the panchayat is resorting to arcane tactics like social boycotts. We hope that these men win their fight to protect the trees and the police come to their help!