GUWAHATI: The Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organizations of Assam (CCTOA) has termed the MSME (Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises) Ordinance passed by the State Council of Ministers an anti-tribal and anti-indigenous move.
Talking to newsmen here on Thursday, CCTOA chief coordinator Aditya Khakhlari said, "The State Council of Ministers has decided to pass an Ordinance for the setting up of industries on any land in the State without any permission from the Revenue department and documents. It is an anti-tribal and anti-indigenous decision. If this Ordinance is not cancelled immediately, we're going to start a vigorous agitation in the State.
"We're not opposed to development of the State. However, in the name of setting up industries the move to use agricultural lands in non-agricultural activities without permission from the State Revenue department is suicidal. Such a move will pave the way for outsiders or non-indigenous people to acquiring lands in tribal belts and blocks and the lands of other indigenous people in rural areas. We can never agree to the conspiracy of the government to hand over the land rights of the indigenous people of the State to outsiders or industrialists.
"The Harishankar Brahma-led committee on land rights of the indigenous people of the State has clearly recommended for ensuring land rights to the indigenous people of the State through tough Acts. However, the report of the Brahma committee has not been made public as yet, let alone implementing it.
"On the other hand, the high-level committee under Clause 6 of the Assam Accord submitted its report to the government, but no measures have been taken towards that end as yet.
"This is not all. The government has failed to keep its promise of reviving the HPC mills at Jagiroad and Panchgram in Cachar.
"The State Capital Region Development Authority has already posed a threat to tribal belts and blocks, RHAC (Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council), TAC (Tiwa Autonomous Council) and other indigenous people of the State. That apart vast areas of South Kamrup tribal belts and blocks have been 'de-reserved', and the land were handed over to industrialists and businessmen."