Guwahati : Saying that the state government would protect the interest of indigenous people of the state at all costs, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday assured representatives of various organisations of Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council areas of all taking steps to allay their fears of being alienated in their own land in view of the passage of State Capital Region Bill at Assam Legislative Assembly.
He said this in a meeting held at CM's conference room with members of Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council and various other organisation leaders of the area at Janata Bhawan.
Chief Executive Member of Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council Tankeswar Rabha expressed concerns that State Capital Region would override the land rights of tribal people living at the fringes of the Guwahati city which would be covered by State Capital Region.
Rabha also said that land acquisition in tribal belt areas for expanding the capital would violate the rules of acquiring land in tribal belts and it would make the indigenous people lose the right of land.
He said that even after keeping the provision for taking prior permission of the Council in Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council Act of 1995 for selling, leasing or for doing agreement on land within the area under its purview, lands have been purchased and sold without intimating the Council.
Tankeswar Rabha called for stricter implementation of rules in the Council areas and other tribal belts of the state.
He expressed concern that same would happen after formation of State Capital Region and tribal people would lose their rights over their lands.
Responding to this, the Assam CM assured of taking all steps to protect the land rights and he urged the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council organisations to submit their complaints in written form to the government which would be taken up by the Revenue Department.
Sonowal also assured that necessary amendments would be done in the State Capital Region Bill to allay all apprehensions of indigenous people and safeguard their interests.
The Assam CM also urged the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council organisations to take advantage of being situated near Guwahati and being covered by State Capital Region to usher in a period of rapid development in these areas.
The formation of State Capital Region would bring benefits to all sections of people living in these areas and tribal belts would be developed keeping their cultural and social heritage intact, Sonowal said.
Legal Adviser to the Chief Minister Shantanu Bharali, Additional Chief Secretary of Revenue Department MGVK Bhanu, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Sanjay Lohia, Commissioner and Secretary of WPT and BC Prafulla Kumar Hazoary were also present among others in the meeting.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)