GUWAHATI, February 12: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the State Government will complete the process to grant land entitlements to Scheduled Tribes and other forest dwellers under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditiol Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 within three months.
Addressing a public meeting on the occasion of land entitlements to forest dwellers organised by the All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) at Chariduar in Sonitpur district today, Chief Minister Gogoi said that though there has been slackness in implementation of the Act, he has directed the Deputy Commissioners to expedite the process for granting over 30,000 land entitlements to ST and other traditiol forest dwellers within the next three months. “The Act ected by the UPA Government upholds the rights of forest-dwelling communities to land and other resources, denied to them over decades. It redresses the historical injustice committed against forest dwellers, while including provisions for making conservation more effective and more transparent. Though there has been delay due to some problems in implementation of the Act, our Government is committed towards granting over 30,000 land entitlements to ST and other forest dwellers in the State in the next three months,” he said.
Gogoi said that the Government would soon constitute a district-wise coordition committee with representatives drawn from different tribal communities to complete the process for granting land entitlements without hassles within the next three months.
The Chief Minister said that the State Government is wholly committed towards the development of all communities and have constituted the Development Councils for this purpose. “Our Government wants the development of all communities and have formed the Development Councils for them. If some of our communities lag behind, how Assam can forge ahead on the path of progress and development. If Assam has to prosper, each and every community has to grow,” he said.
Gogoi said that the Government is not only committed towards the development of Bodos living in the BTAD but also those living outside it. “The Bodos living outside the BTAD must get their due rights and the process has begun with the granting of land entitlements to them from today itself,” he added.
The Chief Minister formally handed over land entitlements to some forest dwellers on the occasion, much to the delight of tens of thousands of people belonging to Bodo community.
Speaking on the occasion, President, United Peoples’ Party, UG Brahma thanked the Chief Minister for keeping his promise of granting land entitlements to ST and other forest dwellers. Brahma hoped that the Chief Minister would also solve some of the long-pending demands of Bodos, including bringing about negotiated settlement with NDFB (P) now under ceasefire and setting up a Bodo Cultural Research and Development Centre in the me of Bodofa Upendra th Brahma.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Lawrence Islary, General Secretary, ABSU, while thanking the Chief Minister for granting land entitlements to ST and other forest dwellers following recent meetings with him, hoped that the process would be completed in the next three months and would cover besides Sonitpur district, gaon, Golaghat and Bodoland Territorial Area Districts. He also hoped that the Chief Minister would fulfil his promises of creating a separate directorate for Bodo medium and recognition of Bodo as official language.
The meeting was attended, among others, by formers ministers Nurjamal Sarkar and Ripun Bora, Habul Chakraborty, Parliamentary Secretary, Dhirendra Boro, President, NDFB(P), Dipen Boro, Vice President, ABSU, Gobinda Basumatary, General Secretary, NDFB(P), Jebraram Moshahary, Chief Convenor, Peoples Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement , Pradip Kumar Daimary, General Secretary, United Peoples’ Party and Praneswar Basumatary, former MLA.