Indian court orders 1 million to vacate forest land

India's top court has ordered more than a dozen states to evict nearly 1 million people from forest land as they have their failed to prove ownership claims.

Most people belong to marginalized tribal communities who consider these areas as their homes.

The Supreme Court says the eviction must be carried out within five months.

The court order was released on Feb. 20. The case is based on petitions filed by some wildlife conservation groups and others calling for the evictions.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs Secretary Deepak Khandekar said about 1.9 million claims have been upheld by state governments.

The Times of India newspaper reported the ministry will soon meet with officials from 16 of 29 Indian states to discuss how to deal with the eviction issue.