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Human chain protest against city expansion



OUR BUREAU
GUWAHATI/DIMORIA, Oct 12: The activists of the Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organizations of Assam (CCTOA), an umbrella organization of 12 tribal bodies, on Thursday formed a human chain from Sonapur to Jagiroad against Assam government’s Guwahati city expansion plan.
To pave the way for expansion of the Guwahati city, the Assembly has recently passed Assam State Capital Region Development Authority (ASCRDA) Bill 2017.
In line with the National Capital Region, Assam will have a ‘State Capital Region’ (SCR) encompassing Guwahati and its peripheral areas. 
The CCTOA said that the Assam State Capital Region Development Authority (ASCRDA) Bill 2017 has triggered panic among the indigenous tribal people belonging to Rabha, Tiwa, Karbi, Hajong and Bodo residing on the city outskirts.
The organization said that the move is a threat to the language, tradition and culture of the tribal people besides the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council (RHAC) and Tiwa Autonomous Council (TAC).  The move will render hundreds of people residing in RHAC area in Boko and TAC in Dimoria and Chandrapur development blocks landless.
CCOTA chief coordinator Aditya Khaklari said that “SCR is against the interest of the indigenous people of the state. So we have opposed it and demanded scrapping of this Act.” As per the Bill, the SCR will comprise the districts of Kamrup Metropolitan, Kamrup, Nalbari, Darrang and Morigaon, fully or partly.
The CCTOA termed the city expansion plan is a ploy to hand over the tribal belt and block to the capitalists and business community. The CCTOA further demanded inclusion of all the autonomous councils including Mishing, Tiwa, Rabha, Sonowal Kachari , Thengal and Deuri councils in the 6th schedule of the Indian Constitution.  Other demands of the organization include expulsion of encroachers and suspected national from tribal belts and blocks, awarding lands rights to the forest dwellers as per Forest Rights Recognition Act, 2006, rehabilitation of the tribal people evicted from the forest areas and providing compensation to the flood-hit people.