GUWAHATI: AATS (All Assam Tribal Sangha) secretary-general Aditya Khakhlari has urged Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to conduct a survey of all NC (Non-Cadestral) lands in the tribal belts and blocks in the state and make them free from encroachers.
The demand came close on the heels of the outcry in the state concerning the ongoing eviction drive to clear government lands in Dhalpur under Sipajhar Police Station in the Darrang district.
Assam has 17 tribal belts and 30 blocks to protect the land belonging to the tribal people in the state. First tribal belts and blocks came into existence in 1947 in the Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar districts through notifications. The government notified eight tribal belts in 1948 in Darrang, Lakhimpur and Kokrajhar districts. The last such notice got issued in 1989 in the Goalpara district.
Talking to The Sentinel, Khakhlari said, "Though tribal belts and blocks got notified first in 1947, the State Government has not fully surveyed the lands in such protected areas as yet. It has rendered a section of the tribal populace landless in documents, despite owning lands.
"The successive governments at Dispur ignored this vital issue. We, therefore, request Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to conduct the survey of NC (Non-Cadestral) lands in tribal blocks and belts and evict the encroachers as per law. Lands in tribal belts and blocks are under the encroachments of non-tribal people, including people of suspected nationalities."