Former rebel leader challenges Tura DC

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HT Correspondent

Tura, Aug 29: A day after West Garo Hills deputy commissioner Pravin Bakshi termed a “circular” issued by former chairman of disbanded outfit ANVC-B Bernard Marak in his capacity as “Nokma” (village chief) and “chief of Tura town committee” as invalid and illegal, the later challenged Bakshi to take him in court.

“I will challenge the order of the deputy commissioner in the court of law. People should know that Tura has been removed from the provision of the Sixth Schedule by introduction of Mauza X by Garo Hill Autonomous District Council”, he said in a release on Tuesday.

Marak had issued a “circular” in the town to lease patta (land documents) to owners under mauza X terming it “a violation of hill provision” under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. He had asked patta holders to attend a meeting called by him on August 18, for “fresh registration” of their pattas.

In a release Marak reiterated that Mauza X is a general area (Khas mahal), which does not fall under the Hill Council and the provisions of the Sixth Schedule. There are only 4 Hill Mauzas in Garo Hills (Mauza 1,2,3 and 4) others are not Hill Mauzas.

He said that Tura has been discreetly changed to a general area by GHADC to facilitate Government to occupy land without acquisition. “Mauza X also created platform for introduction of Municipality in the Sixth Schedule area against the Constitutional provision”, he added.

He justified himself by saying that he has been making an attempt to re-establish the Hill Mauza II in Tura as recorded in the map of Danakgre Akhing (land under which Tura falls) and to re-establish the traditional bodies and administration as per the “Agreed Text for Agreement” signed by him.

“Garo Hills is a Hill District of the Hill people and to safeguard the interest of the Hill people, District Council was constituted through the provisions of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. How GHADC violated the very provision of the Sixth Schedule which created it is debatable. GHADC was supposed to be Non Political Institution and Tribal based, but state government controlled it for many years by intruding GHADC politically and making it into a Political Institution”, the release said.

He also blamed political dominance of the district council for the alleged “manipulations”. “The government and politicians are trying hard from the truth being exposed as the order passed against me is on political line which I was actually expecting. In Garo Hills GHADC introduced Non Hill Mauza X in Tura and Mauza 5 and 6 in the plain belt areas where pattas are issued without Nokma’s document”, he said.

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