19 OCTOBER 2020
Adivasis staging a dharna under the aegis of the Adivasi Samkshema Parishath in protest against the Layout Regularisation Scheme (LRS) and the new Revenue Act in Bhadrachalam of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district on Monday.
New laws dilute provisions of 1 of 70 Act which protect rights of tribals, say protesters
Assailing the reported move to implement the newly rolled out Layout Regularisation Scheme (LRS) and other provisions of the new Revenue Act in the Scheduled Areas of the district, scores of Adivasis took out a protest march in Bhadrachalam on Monday.
The demonstrators later laid siege to the office of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) in the temple town to press for protection of the constitutional rights of tribal people as guaranteed under the Fifth Schedule of Constitution.
The demonstration was organised under the aegis of the Adivasi Samkshema Parishath (ASP) and a host of other Adivasi organisations to press for their charter of demands.
Addressing the demonstration, ASP national president D. Nageswara Rao alleged that the LRS and other “detrimental” provisions contained in the new Revenue Act, recently enacted by the State government, posed a threat to the interests of Adivasis inhabiting the Scheduled Areas.
“Any move to thrust these arbitrary measures on Scheduled Areas would dilute the Land Transfer Regulation (LTR) Act (1 of 70) and other legislations governing the Fifth Schedule areas, meant to prevent encroachment of tribals’ lands by non-tribals,” he warned.
Other speakers demanded that the ongoing process of LRS and survey/enumeration of non-agricultural properties for the purpose of updating property data into Dharani portal be stopped forthwith in the Scheduled Areas to avoid contravention of the LTR and other legislations relating to tribal people living in Fifth Schedule areas.
They sought sanction of pattas to all the “podu cultivators” as per the provisions of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006.
Several Adivasi leaders demanded that the Central government should enact an Ordinance to ensure continuation of 100% reservations to the ST candidates for the teacher posts in the Scheduled Areas.
ASP State president Uika Shankar and others spoke.
Leaders of Bhadrachalam Adivasi Samithi, Adivasi Konda Reddi Sangham, Tudum Debba Adivasi organisation and Adivasi Vidyarthi Samkshema Parishat extended their support to the dharna.
A team of Adivasi leaders presented a memorandum with their charter of demands to the ITDA authorities later in the day.