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AASU stirs land patta pot

- Names in updated NRC entitled to rights: Union
KMSS president Akhil Gogoi speaks at the meeting in Dhubri on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos

Dhubri, Jan. 8: The All Assam Students’ Union has announced that it would support land pattas for only those whose names figure in the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC), a stand which may cause another controversy especially with the KMSS’s demand for land pattas for the landless.

Iterating its stand on the patta issue, AASU said those by virtue of being citizens of India — after NRC update — will be entitled to get land pattas.

The student union’s reaction came following yesterday’s meeting organised by the Akhil Gogoi-led KMSS demanding land pattas for landless people. The KMSS supporters thronged the Dhubri deputy commissioner’s office with 3,000 landless villagers living in the sar (river islands) villages of Dhubri district.

According to AASU, it will send a wrong message to the landless people of sar areas as they will be under the impression that everyone is entitled to get land patta.

Talking to this correspondent, the organising secretary of the state unit of AASU, Putul Chandra Roy Pradhani, clarified their stand on the patta issue. He said for issuing of land pattas the clause of Assam Accord on citizens of India who came before March 25, 1971, has to be implemented in letter and spirit.

“Moreover, the matter of issuing land pattas to the landless will only come up when NRC update will be completed. But Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS)’s movement on issuing land pattas to landless in one year may create confusion and controversy,” Pradhani said.

The situation in Dhubri is fluid and sensitive over the land patta issue as nearly 80 per cent people living in sars of Dhubri district are landless.

“Earlier, the government had issued touzi patta to the sar villagers and realised khazna (land revenue) but four years back, all the touzi pattas issued by it were cancelled,” Abdul Malik, a landless villager of Chalakura village part IV of South Salmara Assembly constituency of Dhubri district, said.

Joynal Abedin Sarkar, a landless villager of Alomganj part IX of Dhubri district, who had come to join the KMSS rally yesterday, said landless people of their village had been living there since 1974.

“Prior to 1974, we were in Nilokhiya village of South Salmara Assembly constituency and shifted to this village (Alomganj) after erosion of Nilokhiya. We had filed a case in the land revenue board but our claims for land were dismissed by the deputy commissioner a few years back,” Sarkar said.

Halim Uddin Sheikh of Birsing-Sialmari char village and Ashiruddin Daktar of Golokganj development block of Dhubri district said before the KMSS, no political party had raised the issue of land patta

Sheikh and Daktar said they have strong belief and faith in Akhil’s leadership and this is why they have come here to extend support to the movement.

Like Malik, Sarkar, Sheikh and Daktar, hundred others, too, joined Akhil yesterday as they have seen a ray of hope in the movement for land patta to landless issue.

This gathering is likely to swell in the days to come cutting across party affiliation of the sar villagers because these landless people were once the vote bank of the Congress and later switched over to AIUDF.

None of the parties had done anything for land pattas, sar villagers alleged.


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