Tribal activist Janaklal Basumatary criticizes Assam government
In a continuing attack against the move of the government of Assam to include more communities in the ST list violating the norms and criteria
KOKRAJHAR: In a continuing attack against the move of the government of Assam to include more communities in the ST list violating the norms and criteria, tribal leader representing BJSM Janaklal Basumatary said the government had been misusing the provision of ST. He said the recent decision of government of Assam notifications, orders in respect of constitutional tribes in Assam for political purpose in violation of existing law and constitutional benefit for Schedule Tribes (ST) was misused for political milestone of the ruling party.
"In tribal belts and blocks notified tribal areas and sixth schedule tribal areas the government of Assam cannot alter the law and rule of the existing law and rule. While notifying the OBC beneficiaries Ahom, Chutiya, Moran, Motok and unreserved Gorkha community as a protected class in Sadiya tribal belt constituted in 1951 the government misused the provision of u/s 160 of the Chapter- X of Assam Land and Land Revenue Regulation 1886 as amended in 1947. This amendment is prior to the commencement of the constitution of India in 1950," Basumatary said.
Basumatary said after commencement of the constitution of India some of these people were included in OBC beneficiary under art. 340 of the constitution. Some were included in SC beneficiary under art.341 of the constitution with definite area of reservations. No land reservation benefits were provided to them as their means of livelihood. The criterion of the protected class is basically the need of protection of land. Their means of livelihood and material advancement are purely land based.
"The Ahom, Chutiya, Moran, Motok are OBC beneficiary class and Gorkhas are unreserved class, all of them are outside the purview of the protected class. Moreover, section 160 of ALLRR, 1886 as amended in 1947 defines the protected class specifically for reservation of land in notified tribal areas as the State government may adopt such measures as it deems fit for the protection of those classes who on account of primitive condition and lack of education or material advantages are incapable of looking after their welfare in so far as such welfare depends upon their having sufficient land for their maintenance. The government of Assam issued notification vide No. RSS/502/2019 dt. 20/07/2021 to include Ahom, Chutiya, Moran, Motok and Gorkhas as protected class in Sadiya tribal belt on the basis of their status of "permanent resident" of that notified tribal area. No community other than schedule tribe community can be notified as protected class in such notified tribal belt areas on the basis of status permanent resident u/s 160 of ALLRR 1886 as amended in 1947. So the notification for protected class of Sadiya tribal belt is illegal and void. There cannot be a protected class of any class of community except Schedule Tribe in Sixth schedule area. The notification for inclusion of Gorkhas as protected class in 4 districts of BTC for those Gorkhas residing before creation of BTC sixth schedule administration 2003 on the basis of status of bonafide citizen of India vide No. RSS 502/2019/26 dt.20/07/2021 is also illegal and void," the tribal leader said.