Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

State needs Act to protect land rights of indigenous people: Das

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, Dec 25 - Retired senior bureaucrat CK Das has suggested that the Assam Government should enact an Act like Meghalaya to prevent outsiders from buying land in Assam. He also called upon the indigenous people of Assam not to sell their land as far as possible as according to him, control over land is the key to survival for anyone.

When contacted by The Assam Tribune, Das, who retired as the Additional Chief Secretary of Assam, said that Meghalaya has an Act called the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act under the provisions of which no person other than indigenous people can buy land in more than 90 per cent area of the State. Under the present circumstances, Assam should have such an act to protect the interests of the indigenous people of the State, he added.

The retired bureaucrat pointed out that no one can survive without having land under his or her feet. He admitted that sometimes, a person may have to sell land under compulsion, but that should be avoided as far as possible. He pointed out that in the last 20 years or so, the indigenous people of Assam started selling of land, which should have been avoided.

Das, who served in the Revenue Department of the State for a long period, said that the indigenous people of Guwahati started selling off their land when the capital of Assam was shifted from Shillong to Guwahati and many middlemen also emerged at that time. Many persons who had extra money to spend started buying land from the indigenous people as they were aware of the fact that land is the best thing to invest in and in the process, the local people lost their land.

There was a tendency among some people to sell off land through middlemen after getting settlement from the Government. During his tenure as the Principal Secretary of the Revenue Department, Das issued an order preventing selling of such land for a period of ten years. The order was challenged in the High Court. But the Court upheld the order.

Das expressed the view that the land survey and resettlement process should start soon. Though the Government has been promising land to the indigenous people, Das is skeptical of the promise as there is hardly any land. He also said that the Government should immediately set up land mortgage banks in all the sub divisions so that the poor people can mortgage their land when required instead of selling off their land.

Das has been taking part in the Anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act movement as he also feels that the Act would be harmful for the indigenous people. He pointed out that in the last census, the Assamese speaking population in the State was only 48 per cent of the total population and if the Act is implemented, there is every chance of Bengali speaking outnumbering Assamese speaking people in the State and the indigenous people would become second class citizens. Such a scenario cannot be accepted, he asserted.

Next Story
Similar Posts
State needs Act to protect land rights of indigenous people: Das

GUWAHATI, Dec 25 - Retired senior bureaucrat CK Das has suggested that the Assam Government should enact an Act like Meghalaya to prevent outsiders from buying land in Assam. He also called upon the indigenous people of Assam not to sell their land as far as possible as according to him, control over land is the key to survival for anyone.

When contacted by The Assam Tribune, Das, who retired as the Additional Chief Secretary of Assam, said that Meghalaya has an Act called the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act under the provisions of which no person other than indigenous people can buy land in more than 90 per cent area of the State. Under the present circumstances, Assam should have such an act to protect the interests of the indigenous people of the State, he added.

The retired bureaucrat pointed out that no one can survive without having land under his or her feet. He admitted that sometimes, a person may have to sell land under compulsion, but that should be avoided as far as possible. He pointed out that in the last 20 years or so, the indigenous people of Assam started selling of land, which should have been avoided.

Das, who served in the Revenue Department of the State for a long period, said that the indigenous people of Guwahati started selling off their land when the capital of Assam was shifted from Shillong to Guwahati and many middlemen also emerged at that time. Many persons who had extra money to spend started buying land from the indigenous people as they were aware of the fact that land is the best thing to invest in and in the process, the local people lost their land.

There was a tendency among some people to sell off land through middlemen after getting settlement from the Government. During his tenure as the Principal Secretary of the Revenue Department, Das issued an order preventing selling of such land for a period of ten years. The order was challenged in the High Court. But the Court upheld the order.

Das expressed the view that the land survey and resettlement process should start soon. Though the Government has been promising land to the indigenous people, Das is skeptical of the promise as there is hardly any land. He also said that the Government should immediately set up land mortgage banks in all the sub divisions so that the poor people can mortgage their land when required instead of selling off their land.

Das has been taking part in the Anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act movement as he also feels that the Act would be harmful for the indigenous people. He pointed out that in the last census, the Assamese speaking population in the State was only 48 per cent of the total population and if the Act is implemented, there is every chance of Bengali speaking outnumbering Assamese speaking people in the State and the indigenous people would become second class citizens. Such a scenario cannot be accepted, he asserted.