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BJSM opposes demand for land in BTC to rehabilitate former ULFA members

From our Correspondent

KOKRAJHAR, Feb 4:  The Bodoland Jajati Suraksha Manch (BJSM) on Saturday opposed the move of the pro-talk ULFA to allot land measuring 500 bighas for the settlement of former ULFA members in BTC area.

In a press statement, the president of the BJSM, Jaklal Basumatary, working president DD rzary, president of Kokrajhar district BJSM, Dipak Brahma and joint secretary Rao Khunggur Brahma said a group of pro-talk ULFA leaders led by general secretary Anup Chetia and Mril Hazarika visited Kokrajhar on Friday and met the former members of the outfit. The ULFA leaders also submitted memorandum to BTC chief Hagrama Mohihlary demanding allotment of 500 bighas of land for settlement or rehabilitation of their activists in BTC area.

 The BJSM leaders said the BTC chief was not the authority to allot land of BTC, which was created under the 6th schedule of the Constitution of India, to ULFA when the outfit was yet to come to the negotiation table with the Government of India. He also said the Assam Government also had no power to allot land for settlement or rehabilitation. The Government of Assam is yet to evict the illegal settlers in tribal belts and blocks and protected tribal land.

“How can the Government of Assam or BTC allot land to the ULFA members in protected tribal land?” Jaklal Basumatary questioned. He also demanded that instead of allotment of land to ULFA activists, the government should better carry out eviction drive against the illegal encroachers and foreigners in protected tribal lands.

Basumatary said the ULFA supported ST categorization of six communities of Assam despite the fact that the BJSM and other tribal organizations had been opposing it and at the same time the ULFA leaders were seeking land in protected tribal land. He said the demand of 500 bighas of land in the BTC area was not under the ambit of legal system and the outfit should think about the security of indigenous people who were being threatened in their own land.   

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Ankur Kalita