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Pro-ILP group proposes land transfer bill

Shillong, Dec.17: A pro-inner-line permit (ILP) group today proposed the enactment of the Meghalaya Ownership, Possession and Transfer of Land (Regulation) Bill, 2013 in response to chief minister Mukul Sangma’s invitation to come out with alternative ideas on how to deal with influx.

The Jaintia Youth Federation (JYF), which is part of the 13 pressure groups demanding ILP in Meghalaya, while reiterating that its stand on the ILP was firm, hoped that the suggestion would end the current stalemate.

“To demonstrate that we are really concerned for the future generation and interest of the indigenous people of the state, we suggest that the government introduces, debates and passes a new law — The Meghalaya Ownership, Possession and Transfer of Land (Regulation) Bill, 2013, and repeals the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Act, 1971 as amended to date,” the organisation’s president, P. Majaw, said in a letter to Sangma.

However, Majaw, when contacted, made it clear that his group was still part of the conglomerate demanding ILP. He also clarified that the suggestion tabled was only that of the JYF, and not of the other groups.

“This response to your call for an alternative to the demand for invocation of the Regulation V of 1873 or the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, is, therefore, to demonstrate that we are genuinely concerned about the future,” Majaw said.

He said the demand for invocation of the Regulation V of 1873 “stands” until the bill is passed along the lines of the draft model act as framed by the group.

As per the draft model act proposed by the JYF, an indigenous tribal shall not transfer land in Meghalaya to a non-tribal or by a non-tribal to another non-tribal.

It also stipulated that land possession may be transferred from an indigenous tribal to a non-tribal individual/institution/corporate bodies/bodies of individuals/Government only through lease deeds, which should be drawn up and executed between the indigenous landowner(s) and other parties to the lease deed/agreement according to law.

Further, the group suggested that every transfer of land made after the commencement of the Constitution and before the commencement of this act, by a tribal to a non-tribal or by a non-tribal to another non-tribal shall, within a period of two years from the commencement of this act, be registered by the transferee or any person claiming title through him before such authority as the claiming title through him before such authority as the Meghalaya government may specify.

Moreover, it suggested that while making rules for the implementation of the proposed act, the regularisation of acceptance and recognition of registration of land with the respective traditional heads of administration viz. Syiem, Lyngdoh, Wahadadar and others.