Bernard opposes forceful occupation for TCH in Rongkachiring

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Front Page

Staff Reporter
TURA, Aug 06: The upcoming expansion of the Tura Civil Hospital (TCH) may just hit another roadblock with the former ANVC-B leader Bernard Marak, threatening to file a case against the GHADC and the state government on the issue of forceful occupation of land in the Rongkachiring locality of the town of Tura.
“The state government plans eviction at Rongkachiring against Supreme Court orders. There is a Supreme Court ruling AIR 1972 SC 787 Para 15 which strongly directed that ‘No law made by the Regional or District Councils with respect to allotment, occupation or use of setting apart of land as mentioned in that clause, shall have the effect of preventing  compulsory acquisition of land for public purposes’. This direction of the Supreme Court is not being followed by the State Government,” said Marak in a press statement issue here on Sunday.

The state government is planning to evict residents of Rongkachiring (400 houses approximately) for upgradation of TCH allegedly without acquiring and paying compensation for land.
“The Akhing Nokma (Enilla Ch Marak) earlier had appealed against forced occupation of land by Tura Civil Hospital as well as eviction plans. We also made every attempt to highlight the Supreme Court ruling and legal procedures reserved for Land Acquisition in the Scheduled Areas but it all fell into deaf ears,” he said.
 The former rebel leader while alluding to the fact that Tura fell under Danakgre Akhing alleged that the GHADC had issued illegal pattas to Tura Civil Hospital under Mauza X which was not a Hill Mauza.
“GHADC violated the Hill provisions in Garo Hills, especially Tura by introducing a non hill mauza. There are only four Hill Mauzas (Mauza 1,2,3 and 4) rest are plain Mauzas which does not fit in Hill Council but GHADC introduced mauza 5,6 etc and X too. GHADC have sold out the principle it was supposed to stand for,” he alleged.
He stated that the Nokma had consented to the upgradation of TCH at the present location and even consented to donating some lands but government simply planned to go ahead with eviction against the residents of Rongka chiring.
 “The government cannot evict without acquiring and paying compensation. Government must refrain from engaging in illegal processes. District Council is not the authority of land and they cannot transfer or settle any land belonging to a tribal in the Sixth Schedule areas,” said Bernard.
 “GHADC settled lands to Government departments (General) for few thousand bucks which they pocketed but is unable to pay salary to the employees for last 12 months. Land in the Scheduled areas belong to the Scheduled Tribes. District Council does not have authority to settle land so the state must first acquire land under existing laws, and in Danakgre an Tura, the law of the land prevails,” he said.
 “Government must understand that GHADC is not the authority of land but Nokma is. Therefore pattas issued under Assam schedule and non Hill mauza X is not valid land document. These documents are void as par the ruling of the Supreme Court (Para 16) and the state must immediately stop forced eviction else we will move Court for compensation for all the lands occupied by the government for all these years and we will also take back our lands which government occupies without acquisition,” he further threatened.


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