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Land and political rights must be included in new accord: BJSM

BJSM

Our Correspondent

Kokrajhar: Bodoland Janajati Suraksha Mancha (BJSM) on Saturday said that the existing tribal land act and political rights should be ensured when the new accord is signed between the Government of India and the NDFB groups.

In a statement, the president of the BJSM and Assam Tribal Right Protection Committee, Janaklal Basumatary welcomed all the four groups of revolutionary members of the NDFB for coming forward to participate in the peace process initiated by the Government of India, Government of Assam and BTC administration for lasting peace in the Northeast, particularly Assam and BTC area. He said be it the agreement for Bodoland Union Territory or Bodoland Union Territorial Council, tribal land rights and political rights as well as protection of constitutional and legal provision should remain intact. For political right protection, the provision of the adequate number of parliamentary and legislative assembly or council legislative constituency should be provided so that full political empowerment of tribal people is ensured under Art.244(2)/244A/330(1)(c) of the Constitution of India. He also said the special provision of the delimitation Act should be provided like in Sikkim to give reserved constituency for 5,000 tribal populations so as to ensure that the unrepresented minority tribal community gets political empowerment opportunity.

Basumatary said for the guarantee of tribal land right protection the existing chapter X provisions of Assam Land and Revenue Regulation Act, 1886 as amended in 1947, should be upgraded to central Act with necessary modification, including the fixing of responsibility on revenue officers for the failure of the administration under this Act.

The land transaction rights of the non-tribal people must be determined as to who is qualified to have land transaction right in notified tribal reserved land under chapter X of ALLRR Act, 1886 as amended in 1947. He said that tribal land rights must be protected by reservation as the land was the identity of tribal people and the only means of their existence. Without land, tribal people would face extinction, he said.

The tribal leader said that with this safeguard of political and land rights of Scheduled Tribe people, particularly Boro ST people, the peace agreement was most welcome in the interest of peace and prosperity of the land. He said that the inner line permit could not be the substitute of tribal land protection provision in ChapterX of Assam land and Land Revenue Regulation Act, 1886 as amended in 1947, as it provided protection since 1947 but inner line permit would be effective from the creation of Sixth Schedule administration.

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