Newspaper reports of the forest fires quoted the state’s forest officials as having put the blame on the Soliga adivasis living inside the BRT WLS, reportedly in retaliation against their collection of non-timber forest produce (NTFP) having been banned. There were also reports of harsh treatment by the officials against some Soligas. Having worked on issues of protected areas and local people for three decades, and having known of BRT WLS as a critical area for both biodiversity and for adivasis, Kalpavriksh felt it necessary to conduct an investigation into the above incidents and allegations.
These letters were sent to the respective Offices on 26 June 2007
- Shri H.D. Kumaraswamy, CM of Karnataka
- Justice S. Rajendra Babu, Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission
- Ms. Meena Gupta, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests
- Shri P.R. Kyndiah, Minister of Tribal Affairs
- P.V. Jayakrishnan, Chairperson, Centrally Empowered Committee
- Final Report: This report is based on an investigation carried out by Kalpavriksh, in May 2007, into the incidents of forest fires inside the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Sanctuary (BRT WLS) in Karnataka, and their context, in particular the ban on forest produce collection and its impacts