The Bodoland Janajati Suraksha Manch (BJSM), a Bodoland tribal protection forum, has expressed serious concern over uprooting of a hoarding of the Manch and seizure of hoarding materials allegedly by police at Titaguri in Kokrajhar. The Manch has sought the intervention of the Prime Minister, State Chief Minister and the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) administration to look into the matter, take necessary steps against the erring cops and get the hoarding re-installed.
JL Basumatary, president of BJSM, a Kokrajhar-based organisation, termed the police step as an action “against the protection of tribal people” and it was “in violation of law and disregard of constitutional safeguard of tribal people.”
Basumatary stated, “Responding our representation for protection of tribal belt and blocks in Assam and restoration of the tribal lands as per provision of Chapter X of the Assam Land and Land Revenue Regulation Act, 1886 as amended in 1947, the Prime Minister’s Office directed the Assam Government to act as per law vide their letter No. (1) PMO/14/00040656, dated 12/12/2014, (2) ELE188/2013/147, dated 17/01/ 2014 and in turn the Assam Government wrote to the BTC administration and the DCs of the districts to act as per law for protection of tribal belts and blocks under the Assam Land and Land Revenue Regulation Act 1886 as amended in 1947 vide their Memo No. RSS 880/2014/PT/37-A.”
But so far, no action has been taken from any quarter in this regard, alleged the Manch president. In his last visit to Kokrajhar, HS Brahma, chairman of the Committee for Protection of Land Rights for Indigenous People of Assam, after holding a meeting with the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) instructed them to erect hoardings in the tribal belt and block areas so that no illegal encroacher can illegally enter the protected tribal belt and block areas.
“But as there was no response from any quarter, so, the Bodoland Janajati Suraksha Manch had erected a hoarding in the tribal belt and block area at Titaguri road side on January 13, 2018 identifying the encroached villages in the notified tribal area,” stated the Manch president. He also informed that the matter was also brought to the notice of the Public Information & Public Relations office and the local administration for necessary action.
“But the Kokrajhar Police without any written order from the appropriate authority and without informing the Bodoland Janajati Suraksha Manch, uprooted the hoarding and seized the hoarding materials unilaterally and unlawfully,” alleged Basumatary.
Stating that “police is meant to protect the tribal right, tribal people, tribal life and tribal land” Basumatary alleged, “Police administration is unleashing the atrocities on protected tribal people which is in utter violation of law and their duty.”