Assam Government urged not to dilute concept of tribal belts & blocks
Prominent tribal organizations of the State have demanded that the Assam government “must not dilute the very concept and spirit of constituting tribal belts and blocks while giving rights to Gorkhas and other communities in the belts and blocks.
A 30-member CCTOA delegation submits a nine-point 'Charter of Demand' on various unresolved issues of the tribal people of Assam to WPT&BC Minister, Dr Ranoj Pegu at the Dispur on Sunday
GUWAHATI: Prominent tribal organizations of the State have demanded that the Assam government "must not dilute the very concept and spirit of constituting tribal belts and blocks while giving rights to Gorkhas and other communities in the belts and blocks.
They also demanded that the State Government should rethink and review the Cabinet decision adopted on July 7, 2021 and hold a bipartite discussion on the issue before enhancing and giving status of "protected class to more other communities which are not original inhabited in the areas of the tribal belts and blocks.
In this regard, the 30-member delegation of the CCTOA (Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organisations of Assam) met State Education and WPT&BC Minister, Dr. Ranoj Pegu at the Janata Bhawan on Sunday. They also submitted a nine-points 'Charter of Demand' on various unresolved issues of the tribal people of Assam.
The delegation headed by the president of AATS (All Assam Tribal Sangha) Sukumar Basumatary also comprised the organisation's secretary general and chief coordinator of CCTOA, Aditya Khakhlari; and the president of ABSU (All Bodo Students Union) Dipen Boro; TMPK (Takam Mising Porin Kebang) president Rajkumar Morang; ARSU (All Rabha Students' Union) president Nripen Khanda; and leaders of 22 other students organisations.
The delegation has demanded that a special 'Gramin Rajah Adalat' drive must be conducted to issue 'land pattas' to the tribal families, and also called for a revision of the 'New Land Policy' adopted by the previous government and provide "land patta to the total area of land occupied by the tribal families."
They added, "The 25% exemption of premium to tribal family for settlement of land in urban area should be maximised up to 80%."
They further demanded that immediate eviction must be carried out of encroachers, illegal industries from the tribal belts and blocks. In response to the demand, the Minister has decided to send a letter to the Deputy Commissioners of the districts concerned for providing present status on the encroachment of tribal belts and blocks.
The CCTOA leaders have also demanded a Cabinet decision "to conduct a special recruitment drive to fill up 12,155 numbers of backlog vacancies meant for STs (Scheduled Tribes) by modifying the office memorandum dated 03-08-2016 and to Implement the Assam SCs and STs (RVSP) Act, 1978 as amended in the year 2012 as per Hon'ble Supreme Court verdict in R.K. Sabharwal Case."
The Minister assured the delegation to fill up those backlog vacancies by adopting a Cabinet decision soon.
The CCTOA leaders further demanded "adoption of a bold decision for the settlement of land/issuing 'Land Title' to all tribal forest dwellers in various forest and reserved forest areas of Assam as per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Right) Act-2006 to redress 'Historical Injustice' committed against tribal forest dwellers.
The Minister assured the delegation to induct one ST member in the Sub-Divisional Level Land Advisory Committees in the sub-divisions concerned, where the tribal belts and blocks were constituted. The Minister further assured the delegation to constitute new tribal belts and blocks covering tribal populated areas and villages.
The delegation also demanded autonomous councils for the Meches, Hajongs, Sarania Kacharis, Madahi Kacharis anc autonomous councils for Singpho, Tangsa, Sema, Tai-Khamiyang, khamti, Man(Tai-speaking) community residing in Upper Assam.
The CCTOA demanded Constitutional status to the six autonomous councils of the Mising, Tiwa, Rabha, Sonowal Kachari, Thengal Kachari and also the Deori autonomous council.
The CCTOA also demanded that a Cabinet decision must be taken to grant voting rights to the indigenous tribal people of 535 villages of Sonitpur and Biswanath district in Panchayat Elections. The Minister has assured to discuss the matter with the Chief Minister and to apprise the matter in the Cabinet meeting, stated a press release.