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Tribal bodies demand belt protection

The Indigenous Tribal Sahitya Sabhas of Assam (ITTSSA), a conglomeration of literary bodies of Bodo, Tiwa, Karbi, Rabha, Dmasa, Mising, Garo, Deuri, submitted a memorandum to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on various issues related to the indigenous people of the state, including development of tribal languages and protection of Tribal Belts and Blocks.

The Sabhas demanded that the term ‘Assameseas appeared in Clause-6 of the Assam accord, 1985 should aptly be specified as ‘Indigenous Tribal’ people of Assam and ‘Indigenous Assamese people” of Assam for execution of the provisions of clause-6 of the Assam Accord, 1985.

It demanded that the provision of the clause-10 of the Assam Accord, 1985, in respect of the Tribal Belts and Blocks, should fully be implemented in letter and spirit by way of ‘protecting the tribal people and evicting the encroachers there’, without further delay and “necessary steps be taken to include the chapter-X of Assam Land & Revenue Regulation of 1886 in the Ninth Scheduled of the Constitution of India, it stated.

Demanding complete updating the NRC with further delay, it said no name of foreigners be inducted therein. It also said immigration coming between 1951 and 25 March 1971 may be regarded as Indian citizens if existing laws of the land allows but “no constitutional safeguard should be given to them as per the Assam Accord, 1885..

It also demanded that present 10% and 5% reservation quota enjoyed by the existing Scheduled Tribes(Plains) and Scheduled Tribes(Hills) respectively should be kept intact and should not in any way be hampered by way of clubbing the reservation quota with other communities. “Further the benefit provided under the sixth scheduled of the Constitution of India and other Autonomous Councils of Indigenous Tribals of Assam available for existing ST people should not be extended to other communities seeking for ST status, it said.

The indigenous sabhas also demand to take steps for preservation, protection and development of the tribal languages of Assam by way of adopting a tribal language policy with provisions for appointment of sufficient number of teachers, publication of books and earmarking sufficient funds with budget provision for establishment of libraries and other infrastructure for protection of these endangered tribal languages of Assam. It also urged the govt to introduced various tribal languages as medium of instruction as subject language as desired by the respective language speaking communities as per existing language policy of the SCERT, govt of Assam.

It also demanded the Scheduled tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers(Recognisation of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 should be implemented n the state in letter and spirit to protect the tribal people dwelling in the forest areas.

It also demands for immediate and full proof measures for the protection against flood and erosion.

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Assam Times Kokrajhar bureau office, BTAD.

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