GUWAHATI, Sept 29 - Opposing the possible inclusion of tribal belt and block areas in the proposed State capital area expansion, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) today dashed off a letter to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, urging him to ensure that there is no disturbance to the existing land rights of the indigenous people living in those areas.
The AASU also demanded that the ongoing Assembly session effect the required amendment in the relevant Act.
The student body said in a statement that while it agreed in principle with the State government�s move to expand the capital area, yet it must be ensured that the indigenous people living in the proposed expansion areas are in no way touched.
�There is an urgent need for expanding the State capital and facilitate a scientific and organised growth of the city in view of its growing population and the resultant pressure on the existing civic infrastructure. But the government needs to come up with a visionary initiative and ensure that the tribal belts and blocks are excluded from the expansion, and also that the land rights of all the other indigenous groups living in those areas are not affected,� it said in a statement.
Pointing out that the transfer of State capital from Shillong to Dispur in 1972 did not take into account the adverse effects on the indigenous people of the area as a result of which they had to lose their land rights, the AASU said that it was for the government to ensure that there is no repeat of such a development.
It added that all the 28 organisations representing different ethnic communities of the State are unanimous on this issue.