Landless people from 23 districts to be covered in the first phase
GUWAHATI: At a time when the Centre’s move to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament, poses a grave threat to identity of indigenous Assamese people, the BJP-led Assam Government has decided to provide land patta to about 12,000 indigenous landless people of the State. In the first phase the landless indigenous people from 23 districts will receive patta. The government has already prepared the lists of beneficiaries and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will ceremonially give away land patta to landless people in Sonitpur district on Sunday.
Those indigenous people who have not been able to get land patta even after staying on the same plot of land for decades will be provided patta in the first phase to be started from Sunday. Other indigenous landless people will get land patta in the subsequent phases.
The decision of the Sarbananda Sonowal is one of the prime recommendations of the Committee for Protection of Land Rights of Indigenous People of Assam. The committee was constituted soon after the BJP-led Government came to power in the State in 2016. The committee headed by former Chief Election Commissioner Hari Sankar Brahma has strongly recommended that landless people living on government land should be given land to help them take government benefits and apply for loans. It suggested that people who have lost their land in erosion should be given land from ceiling-surplus land.
The committee expressed concern that there has been no land survey in the state since 1964, which is causing problems in getting the actual picture of the state’s land pattern or encroachment. It suggested that the government expedite the survey process.
The Brahma Committee while submitting its report to the State Government in 2017 raised people’s concern that illegal immigrants from Bangladesh are responsible for “galloping change” in the demographic pattern of the State, posing a major threat to the existence of the indigenous people.