A tribal man, named Gejja, in India has finally got his land rights back after living in a mango tree for around two years.
Fed up with the alleged harassment by the government officials, the tribal man from the south Indian state of Karnataka climbed the tree and made it his home after authorities allegedly demolished his hut in the forest declaring it illegal.
He built a bamboo platform on the mango tree which he claimed was planted by his father decades ago, the Times of India reported.
Not only Gejja but other members of his tribal community named the Jenu Kuruba tribal have also won the battle. The group would now get the ownership of their land under the Indian Forest Rights Act and can rebuild their homes.
Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru city D Randeep told the newspaper that after receiving reports of Gejja's protest, a team of officials were sent to meet him. He added that now Gejja has permission to stay within forest or shift to some other place. A rehabilitation package has been offered to him by the forest department.
According to reports, Gejja intensified his protest after authorities reportedly razzed his hut and called him lair when he confronted them saying the land belonged to his ancestors. The tribal man's hut was reportedly removed to dig trenches for solar fencing.
The other tribal members also faced issues because of the fencing. Reports say they were not allowed to extend their houses or make any changes.
Chandrappa, assistant director of Social Welfare Department, said that they have sent a report to the government stating Gejja's struggle. "We have submitted a detailed report on the harassment meted out to Gejja from the Forest Department and we are awaiting an order from the Government," he added.