JONAI, June 2 � The All Assam Tribal Sangha (AATS) and other tribal organisations of the State have alleged rampant violation of land transfer rules and regulations in the existing 47 tribal belts and 28 blocks in the State.
Addressing a district-level tribal convention here on Sunday, AATS secretary Aditya Khaklari said that cases of transferring several hundred bighas of land to non-tribal people have been found in the tribal belts and it has been posing a great threat to the tribal communities of the State. �The State Government is doing nothing for the protection of the tribal belts and blocks in Assam,� he added.
Citing a number of instances of illegal transfer of tribal land to non-tribal and other unprotected communities, Khaklari alleged that these illegal practices are running under the active connivance of the officials of the revenue department. He said the people belonging to the non-protected category initially take tribal belt land on lease and later transfer it in their own names by adopting unfair means.
The AATS leaders informed that the tribal bodies have already constituted a committee in the name and style of the Tribal Land Protection Committee for safeguarding all the tribal belts and blocks in the State. The committee has also put a demand before the State Government to publish a white paper on the illegal transfer of land in the tribal belts and blocks in violation of the Section 10 of the Assam Land and Revenue Act, 1886.
The discussions during the day-long convention unveiled rampant violation of rules and regulations in selling and transfer of land in the Jonai tribal belt and block, wherein many people of the non-protected categories have got land allotment. The non-tribal and non-bonafide people living in the area initially got land plots by lease in the name of private schools, societies, trusts, etc., and finally transferred it in their own names adopting unfair means with the help of officials concerned.
It is pertinent to mention that Jonai subdivision is a tribal belt declared by the Government of Assam vide a notification No. TAD/Rev/70/50/45 dated March 13, 1951, with a view to protecting the economic, social, religious and cultural identity of the indigenous tribal people. But, the existence of the tribal communities is threatened by the unabated possession of land by other non-protected communities as well as doubtful migrants from different places.
The major tribal groups living in the Jonai tribal belt are Misings, Bodos, Deoris and Sonowal Kacharis.