KOKRAJHAR, March 27 - The All Bodo Students� Union (ABSU) on Sunday constituted a special committee comprising members from different tribal organisations to comprehensively review and work on issues and problems pertaining to tribal land rights in Assam under the current scenario. A meeting in this connection was convened by the ABSU at Bodofa House, informed Kwrwmdao Wary, assistant general secretary of ABSU in a statement issued today.
The meeting was chaired by ABSU president Pramod Boro where Dhirendra Boro, chairman of NDFB(P) and Govinda Basumatary, general secretary of NDFB(P), Rakesh Boro, chief convenor of PJACBM, leaders from All Assam Tribal Sangha, Bodoland Janajati Suraksha Manch and many other organisations, besides legal experts and intellectuals from diverse fields attended.
The meet resolved to submit details of encroached land by illegal settlers in tribal belts and blocks to the State Government by the newly constituted committee. It also decided to demand legal and corrective measures immediately in order to restore the encroached lands and to resolve this long-pending issue of the indigenous people.
�A number of tribal bodies have been consistently demanding subsequent State governments for proper implementation of Chapter-X of the Assam Land and Revenue Regulation Act, 1886 and evict illegal encroachers from tribal belts and blocks created for safeguarding tribal land and other protected class of people in Assam�, the statement said.
Though such action ought to have been taken by the district administration as and when breach of law was committed knowingly or unknowingly, however, the former�s apathy on the matter has compelled tribal organisations to take up the issue at the field level today, ABSU alleged in the statement.
Thorough consultation on the need for implementation of Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Right) Act, 2006 was also conducted by taking legal advise from experts. The committee unanimously adopted the resolution that it would demand issuance of land deeds to tribal forest dwellers as enshrined in the Act at the earliest. A strong demand to the State Government to resolve problems of tribal landless people was also taken up.
The meet also resolved to urge the State for creation of new tribal belts and blocks and tribal sub-plan areas where the tribal population had shown significant increase in counter to the Government action of denotification of huge areas of tribal belts and blocks for establishment of numerous public and private projects, urbanisation, settlement of refugees, etc.
Members participating in the meeting rued the decision of the BTC Government of literally gifting prime land to private organisations like Patanjali Private Limited. Those present feared exploitation and manipulation of numerous traditional practices of the tribal communities over a period of time. The committee therefore decided to raise the issue of giving away land to private organisations in the Sixth Schedule area, which has been specially constituted by the Constitution of India to protect tribal land and tribal people.
It was strongly felt by all the members in the meeting that new tribal land laws should be incorporated with Chapter-X and formulate more stringent and foolproof measures in order to safeguard the tribal people who are in fact the original aboriginal and indigenous people inhabiting the State. It was decided to move the State Government soon on the issue.