The two-day-long national seminar on ‘Need of land law reforms in Assam in view of the indigenous people’ concluded at Tezpur Law College here on Saturday. The first of its kind national level seminar organized by Tezpur Law College with two technical sessions touched upon serious issues like denudation of lands in the region, breaching of land rights of the indigenous people due to the infiltration problems and how to revive their lost lands, etc.
Inaugurating the programme on Friday morning, the Attorney General of Arunachal Pradesh government, Nilayananda Dutta, stressed on amendment of some clauses of land laws of Assam for the interest of checking the years-long vexed infiltration problem of the region.
Expressing concern over certain faults with reference to the Assam land & revenue regulation 1886 he further said that until and unless the office concerned with land and revenue and the administration maintain transparency in land related works there is no hope that the common people will be benefited from it.
Besides other noted personalities the session was attended by Prof Madan Sharma of Tezpur University and social worker Dr Lakhi Goswami.
The Principal of Tezpur Law College, Dr Bhuban Chandra Barooah delivered the welcome address wherein he stated that in Assam, the right over land has been systematized during the Ahom rule from 1228 to 1826.
After the fall of the Ahom dynasty and taking over by the British, the administration of Assam in terms of the Yandaboo Treaty signed on February 24, 1826 decided to introduce the system of earning revenue from land as formulated by the Assam Land Revenue Regulation in 1886. This regulation is still in force in determining the various rights over land in Assam, said Barooah.
It was followed by the first technical session under the chairmanship of retired Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court Brijendra Prasad Kakoti where attending as resource person noted lawyer from Gauhati High Court and member of State Land Right Committee Anil Kr Bhattacharya said that though previous governments didn’t give priority in the reports submitted to the government, the present government is giving much importance to it.
Another resource person, Rohini Kumar Baruah said that though Britishers made the Assam Land and Revenue Regulation 1886 with a colonial thought which has still importance in delivering land rights to the people of the region. On the other hand, presenting a paper on the issue in the second technical session, senior advocate of Gauhati High Court, Satyen Sarmah gave some suggestions to implement the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord in totality by way of amending the constitution and bringing in the provisions like Article 370, to reform all the different land laws, including land revenue regulation. “Not only land laws, but also legislations dealing with foreigners, should be reformed to safeguard the interest of indigenous people of Assam,” he said.
Delivering his speech on the issue, MLA Brindaban Goswami suggested that a reform should be adopted so that the indigenous people only can hand over land among themselves but not to others. If any indigenous person hands over land to others, he or she would face punishment as per law.
“A proper land survey should be initiated on the erosion affected families while proper record should be maintained on the depleted forest lands and steps should be initiated for the preservation of those depleted forest lands,” he added.
A total of 27 papers on the issue were presented in the entire seminar and the papers considered to be the best and effective would be submitted to the government of Assam.