Free tribal land from encroachment, or face the music: CCTOA to Dispur
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Nov 28: The Coordition Committee of Tribal Organizations, Assam (CCTOA) has termed Dispur’s eviction drive in Amchang Reserve Forest as a cold-blooded brute on the indigenous people of the State, without making any arrangement for rehabilitation of people being evicted.
Talking to newsmen here on Tuesday, CCTOA chief coorditor Aditya Khakhlari said: “The eviction drive is being carried out in blatant violation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditiol Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. Moreover, the eviction drive is being carried out without making any arrangement for rehabilitation of the people becoming roofless.”
Khakhlari said: “As much as 4,18,076 bighas of land in tribal belts and blocks in the State have been under illegal encroachment. In Kamrup(M) alone, 2,046 bighas have been under encroachment. Why doesn’t Dispur carry out eviction drive to free such tribal land? If the government can give settlement of land to Patanjali and for a resort in Amchang Reserve forest, what resists it from giving land pattas to the indigenous people of the State? If Dispur doesn’t stop the eviction drive for good, it should be ready to face the music – the Saffron party will be rooted out in all tribal areas in the State. Instead of doing that, Dispur is out to make indigenous people of the State roofless. Is this what they mean by the slogan – Jaati Maati and Bheti?”
Khakhlari further said: “According to the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditiol Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 forest dwellers who have been residing on forest land since date back to December 13, 2005 should get land patta. Tribal people don’t denude hills of forest, as they have the habit of living a symbiotic life with forest. If forest denudation has taken place in Assam, it has been under government patroge. Green NGOs like Early Birds, ture’s Beckon, Aranyak etc., get huge amount of funds from the Centre, and swindle them. Now they’ve hatched a conspiracy to drive tribal people of forest land in the me protecting wildlife. We’ve called Assam bandh from 5 am to 5 pm on Wednesday in protest against the eviction of indigenous people of the State. If the eviction drive is not put on hold for good and the evicted people are not rehabilitated, a statewide agitation is on the card. We’ve decided to hold a mass rally in Guwahati in the third week of December and at Dhemaji in the last week.”
Mising Mamag Kebang assistant general secretary Johan Doley said: “Dispur should have inquired of the antecedent of the people being evicted from Amchang Reserve Forest. They’ve been evicted uprooting their jaati, maati and bheti’. Since they’ve been evicted by the administration, it should also shoulder the responsibility of their rehabilitation.”