24 social bodies give 15-days deadline for repeal of land law

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HT Bureau

DIPHU, March 2: Leaders of 24 social organisations have set a 15-day deadline to Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) for repeal of Mikir Hills (Land and Revenue) Act, 1952 to revert the traditional land and revenue law for protection of land right of hill tribe people of Karbi Anglong.

“We gave a deadline of 15 days to the KAAC to revert on the traditional land and revenue law and preparation of acts and rules for separate electoral rolls for KAAC elections. We members of 24 organisations will go for a strong democratic agitation if the council fails to respond within the stipulate timeframe,” United Karbi Students Association (UKSA), president Ratan Terang told reporters here.

“The traditional land and revenue laws of the hill tribe people must be re-taken, codified and re-published,” advisor of 24 social organisations JI Kathar said on Thursday.

“Supreme Court of India and Gauhati High Court have declared annulled the Mikir Hills District (Transfer of land) Act, 1959 in 1971. The act is a cause of alienation of lands of tribal people and non-tribal immigrations,” Kathar said.

Kathar said KAAC can prepare separate electoral rolls under paragraph 2, sub-paragraph (7) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India for political and land rights of tribal people. It should be made under paragraph 2, sub-paragraph (7) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, he said.

He mentioned about the initiative taken by Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) in Mizoram to delete the names of non-tribal voters from the voter lists of CADC. “Leaders of KAAC should follow the CADC, they should not remain as puppets of the state leaders,” he said.

Leaders of the social organisations appreciated the steps taken by Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) chief Hagrama Mohilary for protection of land and political rights of the tribal people in BTAD. “Under Chapter X of Assam Land Revenue Regulation, 1886, Mohilary has evicted the non-tribal encroachers from tribal belt and blocks. The Sixth Schedule provision to KAAC is stronger than compared to BTC, but the KAAC is unable to act by its own,” Kathar added.

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