| KMSS general secretary Akhil Gogoi at the mass rally in Sivasagar on Monday. Telegraph picture |
Sivasagar, Feb. 10: The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) today organised a mass rally and demonstration at Sivasagar for fulfilment of a 10-point charter of demands.
The demands included allotment of 12 bighas each to the landless families, amendment to the Assam Land and Revenue Regulation Act, 1886, allotment of land pattas to the families living on forest land, withdrawal of the 2 paise sub-tax levied on the small tea growers and installation of irrigation facilities.
The KMSS raised another fresh demand for issuance of land pattas to the tea tribe community which had been residing at the labour lines of different tea estates in the state.
KMSS general secretary Akhil Gogoi said 28 per cent of the farmers of the state were landless and 32 per cent own less than one hectare of land, which is insufficient to manage the family. “We have demanded allotment of 12 bighas to each family, so that they can manage,” he said.
“The government has cited its inability to find land for distribution among the landless, but it does not shy away from allotting land to the corporate sector and big businessmen. There are lakhs of hectares of unclaimed land across the state, which need to be reclaimed for distribution among the landless people,” Akhil said.
Urging everyone not to get lured by the cheap thread, mosquito nets and blankets distributed by the government, he nudged the farmers to demand land and proper irrigation facilities instead, which he hoped would bring far-reaching changes in society.
Terming the British-era Assam Land and Revenue Regulation Act, 1886, as anti-people, which serves the interest of the corporate, Akhil also demanded rights over minerals for the indigenous people of the state and demanded amendment to the act.
Speaking on the Union government’s power of having absolute rights over mineral resources, Akhil went to the extent of amending the Constitution to empower rights on mineral resources to the indigenous people of the states.
The KMSS activists later marched towards the office of the deputy commissioner here and held a demonstration. Akhil also handed over a memorandum addressed to the chief minister to the Sivasagar deputy commissioner. A discussion was later held between representatives of the KMSS and Sivasagar deputy commissioner S.S. Meenakshi Sundaram at the latter’s office here, where Akhil placed his demands.