TURA, Sept 7 - Bernard N Marak, former chairman of the now disbanded ANVC (B) has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against Meghalaya Government and Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) in the High Court yesterday after the State sought the eviction of 494 families from Rongkachiring for setting up of a medical college at Tura.
� A PIL has been filed in the Court on September 6 against the State Government, GHADC and others challenging the Land Transfer Act 1955 and the pattas issued by GHADC to Akhing land and also the existence of Non- Hill Mauza X in Garo Hills,� said Marak in a press release.
�GHADC issued pattas without the consent of the Nokma,� he added. The former rebel leader alleged that GHADC and the Government were politically united in exploiting the poor people of Garo Hills for which the PIL has been filed.
�The land of the indigenous tribals was illegally grabbed in Garo Hills without following land acquisition process. I was pressurised against filing this PIL as they know the truth would expose the manipulations of the rich and the powerful,� he alleged.
He further blamed GHADC for helping the State Government for procuring land pattas in Garo Hills.
�Government rarely acquired land in Garo Hills and the compensation to the actual authority and custodian of land (Nokmas) hardly took place. They totally disrespected the traditional heads and the traditional laws of the Garos which were openly violated by changing the rules of the land owning system of the Garos and franchise of the Nokma into patta system which diluted the cultural identity of the Garos over land,� said Marak.