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Outsiders encroach tribal land: NCST

GUWAHATI, June 1: Is the government well aware of how the land lies in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) and the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council (RHAC) area in Assam? The National Commission for Scheduled Tribe (NCST), however, is worried over tribal land going to outsiders. NCST is a constitutional body. Since May 28 this year its chairman Nanda Kumar Sai had been visiting the BTAD and the RHAC areas to know how the land lies there and if the tribal people there get facilities under government schemes meant for them.

Talking to the media at Janata Bhawan here on Friday, Sai said: “Some outsiders were found to have encroached upon tribal lands. This is not just. Some non-tribal people were also found to have taken lands in tribal belts on lease. This is also illegal. A section of tribal people are deprived of land rights.”

Sai said: “I’ve brought all these to the notice of the Chief Minister.”
Sai has said that the Rabhas’ demand for their inclusion into the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution is a right demand. “We’re going to tell the Centre of this. We’ve also come to know that pre-metric scholarships aren’t paid to tribal students. This is not done. Such scholarship has to be paid to them,” he said.

Meanwhile, when asked on the demand of the sixth ethnic groups of Assam– Morans, Muttuks, Koch-Rajbonghis, Chutias, Tai Ahoms and Tea Tribes – for according them ST status, Sai said that he is not aware of that. “We’ve not been informed of this as yet,” he said.

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Ankur Kalita