TURA, Aug 09: The Association for Democracy and Empowerment (ADE) Tura has come out opposing the alleged issuance of pattas within the town of Tura to quite a few non Garos, in contravention of the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act by the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC).
“From reliable sources we have come to know that land pattas have been allocated by the GHADC to 14 people namely, Swapan Rishi, Arun Rishi, Otish Rishi, Govinda Rishi, Lal Mohan Rishi, Jumbura Rishi, Nironjon Rishi, Amarswer Rishi, Siben Rishi, Gogal Rishi, Sudangshu Rishi, Dilu Rishi, Mongol Rishi,” said president of the NGO, Dalseng B Ch Momin on Wednesday.
“The real concern for us is that the beneficiaries are not from the indigenous authenticity. As we all know Meghalaya Transfer of Land Regulation Act, 1970 was specifically formulated to safeguard and protect the rights of local indigenous tribals on the issue of ownership of land and the allocation of pattas contravenes the same law,” he added.
Citing Section 3 (1) of the Act which clearly mentions that “No land in Meghalaya shall be transferred by a tribal to a non-tribal or by a non-tribal to another non-tribal except with the previous sanction of the competent authority” the NGO said that this was an abnormality on a very large scale.
“Quite a few non-tribal people were given land ownership in Tura area by delivering them authentic land pattas. They are using these pattas for various beneficial purposes like acquiring loans, building business establishments and many other commercial uses. This kind of misdeeds dilutes Section 21(e) under the Meghalaya Transfer of Land Regulation Act, 1971,” added Dalseng.
The NGO, which filed a complaint to the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) sought for the immediate cancellation of the illegal pattas.
“This is not only an indiscretion but has very awful long term effects on the socio-political scenario of our state. It impinges on the indigenous populace while also limiting the developmental prospects of the future generation of the natives,” said the letter by the NGO.
“ADE long with concerned citizens of the region sincerely appeals your kind office to cancel the Land Pattas recently allotted against the non-tribals and to take strong actions alongside to prevent such misdeeds in the near future and to book those responsible for such acts,” said Dalseng.