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ABSU reiterates demand to implement FRC Act

By Correspondent

TEZPUR, Nov 11 - As a part of the sustained movement on the demand to fulfil various demands, including implementation of the Forest Rights Act 2006 (FRC Act 2006), immediate inclusion of non-panchayat villages under the Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 and protection of Tribal Belts and Blocks with eviction of illegal encroachers and ensuring land rights to the indigenous tribal people, the Sonitpur district ABSU supported by its central committee held a huge rally at Nyokum Festival Ground near Chardwar in Sonitpur district recently.

Over 10,000 people along with all the office-bearers of the Sonitpur district committee of ABSU participated in the rally which was addressed by the vice president, general secretary and education secretary of the All Bodo Students� Union, Jiten Boro, Laurence Islary and Kastom Basumatary respectively as well as the general secretary of the Sonitpur district Tribal Sangha, Nagen Basumatary.

Urging the Government to address the aforementioned long- pending issues faced by the Bodos, Islary said that though under Article 40 of Indian Constitution, the Directive Principles of State Policy directs formation of village panchayats for the self governance, in Sonitpur district, thousands of Bodos have been deprived of the system and the facilities under it. He said that the BJP Government came to power at the Centre with the slogan of �Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas� but has totally failed to deliver their commitment to the Bodos. �In the interest of decentralisation of power, the Government of India established local self government through Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI). However, it is a matter of great concern that till date these people are deprived of all facilities due to the non-implementation of Panchayati Raj System in most of the State including the northern belt of Sonitpur district. Ironically the people who can cast their votes in Assembly and Parliamentary elections, but do not have the right to participate in the panchayat election,� he alleged.

Addressing the gathering, the vice-president of the students� body, Jiten Boro reiterated that there have been a series of movements since decades in this part for the protection of the Tribal Belt and Blocks and it is time that the illegal encroachers on the Tribal Belt and Block areas be evicted to ensure the security of the indigenous tribal people thereby providing land rights to them in the forest areas. �Although chapter X of the Assam Government�s Land and Revenue Regulation Act, 1886 has the provision for the protection of tribal belts and blocks in the State, this has failed to protect the land of the tribal people and ensure their security due to the indifferent attitude of the State Government to protect the notified Tribal Belts and Blocks in Sonitpur and other districts of the State.�

On the other hand, alleging negligence towards the Bodos by the government agencies, the general secretary of the Sonitpur District Tribal Sangha, Nagen Bsumatary, said that though the then Chief minister of the State Tarun Gogoi had committed in a public meeting held just ahead of the Assembly elections to settle the issue, with the passage of time everything was forgotten. He urged the Assam Government to pave a way for the solution to the problem without any further delay. The ABSU later submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Sonitpur, Manoj Kumar Deka addressed to the Chief Minister.

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