Implement HC land order: Tribal forum
The United Tribal Organisation, Assam, a common platform of the Scheduled Tribes for both plains and hills, on Thursday urged the state government to implement the Gauhati High Court’s order to evict encroachers from tribal belts and blocks across the state.
In its interim order on December 9, the high court asked the principal secretary and the deputy commissioners of the districts with designated tribal belts and blocks to submit an affidavit, highlighting a proper mechanism to evict the encroachers by February 3.
The organisation’s president, Markush Basumatary, said, “The government report said there are 47 tribal belts and blocks in the state covering 46,54,206 lakh bighas. However, over 11,24,693 lakh bighas have been encroached over the years.”
Criticising the “indifferent attitude of the state government”, Basumatary said, “Since the high court has taken a bold initiative by issuing the interim order, the state government must express its political will to implement the order.”
The organisation’s vice-president, Nabin Johori, said, “We are not bothered about the residents who had settled in the tribal belts and blocks before 1947 but about those who illegally occupy and transfer the ownership of land through unfair means. No encroacher can transfer land or claim its ownership that fall under the belts and blocks.”
The organisation also urged the high court to issue the interim order to the deputy commissioners of Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Hojai. “We don’t know why the interim order was not issued to these three districts. We urge the court to issue a similar order to Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Hojai as there are several tribal belts and blocks.”