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‘Protect land rights of indigenous people’

New land policy in the offing

Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, April 25: As a follow-up of the recommendations by former Chief Election Commissioner Hari Sankar Brahma Committee, the State Government is ready to ensure land rights of the indigenous people of the State.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal directed the Revenue Department on Wednesday to implement the recommendations of the Committee to protect the rights of indigenous people of the State over land.
In order to ensure land rights of the indigenous people of the State, Dispur has constituted the Brahma Committee in February last year. Led by Brahma the six-member committee on Protection of Land Rights of Indigenous People travelled the length and breadth of the State, held discussions with all stakeholders and formulated two reports following differences in views among the members of the committee. This made the State Government to be at a loss, knowing not which report is to be given more weightage. However, Dispur opted to pick up the common recommendations, numbering 180, from both the reports, including protection of land rights of the indigenous people, for implementation. Sonowal asked the Revenue Department to execute the recommendations of the reports prepared and submitted by Hari Sankar Brahma and Srikumar Dohutia and the other by four members of the committee – Rohini Kumar Baruah, Ramesh Borpatragohian, Anil Bhattacharya and Ajoy Dutta.
The reports submitted to the Assam government contained provisions of the Assam Land Revenue Regulation 1886, Land Ceiling Act, Land law, Protection of Tribal belts and blocks, distribution of land pattas, land survey, protection of Wakf and Xatra land and several other recommendations.
Sonowal directed Revenue Department for immediate implementation of the recommendations like formulation of New Land Policy based on the Old Land Policy, resettlement of lands, distribution of land pattas, survey of land etc.
Sonowal said that ever since the new government has come to power it has been one of the priorities of the government to ensure land rights of the indigenous people and enable them enjoy the dignity of life on their own land. He also said that the indigenous people living in the State for several decades but do not have land in their name should get rights over the land and he asked the Revenue Department to do the needful to provide land pattas to them.
For the rehabilitation of thousands of people rendered homeless because of flood and erosion in the State, Sonowal asked the authority concerned from the State to file petition before the Supreme Court to exempt Assam from the purview of the ban imposed on the use of VGR and PGR lands.

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Ankur Kalita