People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 18, 2007
Adivasis March On Parliament Street
PM Assures Favourable Action
Brinda Karat addressing the dharna at Jantar Mantar
HUNDREDS of Adivasis from Jharkhand took out a rally from Mandi House in New Delhi on March 14, 2007 and staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar, Parliament Street, under the banner of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Polit Bureau member and MP Brinda Karat addressed the rally. She congratulated the Adivasi leaders of Jharkhand for taking up the just cause of the Adivasis.
A delegation of Scheduled Tribes from Jharkhand consisting of CPI(M) state secretariat member Rajendra Singh Munda, state committee member and state Kisan Sabha general secretary Praful Linda, Gopin Soren, Gaur Soren, and CPI(M) state secretary J S Majumdar led by Brinda Karat met the prime minister Manmohan Singh and the union home minister Shivraj Patil subsequently and submitted a memorandum on tribal issues, mostly specific to Jharkhand.
In the memorandum, demands were raised against reduction of scheduled tribes assembly seats in Jharkhand from 28 to 21 in the current delimitation proposal; against reduction of Adivasi areas under 5th Schedule of the Constitution of India in Jharkhand by Presidential Order of 2003; for rehabilitation of schedule tribes for loss of land due to mining, defence establishment, airport and other developmental activities; for effective implementation of NREGA in the state and its extension in remaining two districts of Jharkhand; for Antyodaya Yojana for entire population in 5th Schedule area under PDS so that wheat is available at the rate of Rs 2/-per kg and rice at the rate of Rs 3/- per kg in the poverty ridden areas in the state; for right of the Adivasis on beedi leaf in the Rules under Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Rights) Act; etc.
The prime minister informed that a legislative committee of the officials has been constituted to look into the demand of maintaining present number of assembly seats for scheduled tribes in Jharkhand and also in respect of restoration of Scheduled Areas in Jharkhand under 5th Schedule of the Constitution.
The home minister assured that before the delimitation work is completed for Jharkhand, the issue of protection of ST assembly seats will be addressed by the government. The delegation also met the union minister for tribal affairs and presented the memorandum.
A delegation of the Adivasis from Jharkhand is expected to meet the defence minister in respect of defence land including Ranchi Airport area. This land was requisitioned by the then British government under Defence of India Rules during the Second World War. However, this land was never returned back after the war ended. The Adivasis are demanding regularisation of the lands by invoking acquisition under Land Acquisition Act by giving proper rehabilitation packages. (INN)