Restore alienated land to tribals, ST panel tells states

Agartala, May 28: National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) Chairman Nand Kumar Sai on Monday asked various state governments to restore alienated tribal lands to their tribal owners.

“In Tripura and other states, there are huge tracts of tribal land alienated due to various reasons. The governments should restore these lands to the tribals,” Sai told the media after visiting the state’s tribal areas for three days.

“Some non-tribals are holding land illegally in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council areas. These lands must be restored at once,” he said adding that educational aspects of the tribals should be given priority by the all governments.

He asked Tripura and other states to fill vacancies in government jobs reserved for tribals.

During his stay in Tripura, the NCST Chairman held meetings with Chief Secretary Sanjeev Ranjan, Director General of Police Akhil Kumar Shukla and other senior officials and discussed welfare measures pertaining to the tribals.

Sai directed the police chief that whenever a tribal lodged an FIR, it should be specially marked for speedy action.

He also said that tribals be encounraged to opt for organic farming and cultivation of high-yield rice, pineapple and other cash crops increase their socio-economic status.

In India, 8.6 per cent (10.45 crore) of the 1.21 billion population are tribals/Adivasis/Janjatis. In Mizoram the percentage is 94.19 per cent, followed by Nagaland (86.50), Maghalaya (86.42) and Arunachal Pradesh (68.81). A considerable number of tribals reside in Tripura, Assam, Manipur and Sikkim.(IANS)