KOKRAJHAR: Coming down heavily against the recent announcement of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in a public meeting to de-reserve tribal belts and blocks in Assam to ensure equal land rights to all Assamese people, the Bodoland Janajati Suraksha Mancha (BJSM) on Thursday warned him to stop 'anti-tribal activities and policies' and called upon all tribal communities to observe Sarma's policy very carefully. The Manch also called upon tribal groups to stay firm against any destructive plans and agenda against indigenous tribal people.
Talking to this reporter, the president of the BJSM, Janaklal Basumatary said that Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma was indulging in anti-tribal activities in violation of the Constitution of India. "Land reservation of tribal people of India as well as of Assam are provided under Article 244(1)(2) of the Constitution of India. In Assam, the hill districts were given Sixth Schedule status in constitutional draft of the 1946 constituent assembly. The tribal of plains of Assam were left out from this benefit for want of able representation in the constituent assembly. However, the State Government provided the reserved tribal land right by creating tribal belts and blocks in predominant tribal area by amending the Assam Land and Land Revenue Regulation 1886 in 1947 and inserting provision of chapter- X in the said Assam Land Regulation," he said, adding that a portion of these tribal belts and blocks were now under tribal area administration under the 6th schedule of the Constitution of India.
Basumatary said that there was no constitutional provision to include migrant Nepali or Gorkha people as protected class in tribal belts and blocks. This was unconstitutional and liable to be withdrawn, which was already done in 1969. "The State Government has no power for inclusion of Gorkhas, mostly general caste and foreign origin, in protected class in tribal reserved land under 5th and 6th Schedules of the constitution. So the State Government should withdraw the notification of protected class of Gorkha people in Sadiya tribal belts and cabinet decision for protected class of Gorkhas in BTC sixth schedule area because there is no protected class in BTC sixth schedule area, all the land is reserved for Scheduled Tribes under BTC Sixth Schedule Act, 2003," he added.
The tribal leader said the declared decision of the Chief Minister that all non-tribal indigenous people would get land rights and protection in Assam, including in Sixth Schedule area and tribal belts and blocks area, was also unconstitutional. He said that constitutionally, the indigenous non-tribal people could not get land right protection and reservation because they do not require such protection and reservation. So Clause 6 of the Assam Accord could not be implemented, he said.
Basumatary added that the All Assam Tribal Right Protection Committee (AATRPC), HQ Guwahati and the Bodoland Janajati Suraksa Manch (BJSM), HQ Kokrajhar would send a strong representation to the President of India to ensure the protection of the constitutional rights of tribal people.