`CPI(M) bid to sabotage tribal land pact'

KANNUR MARCH 29 The Adivasi leader, C.K. Janu, has accused the CPI(M) of making all-out efforts to sabotage the Adivasi rehabilitation and land assignment programme being launched as part of the agreement between the Adivasi-Dalit Action Council (ADAC) and the Government by allowing the party-sponsored Adivasi Kshema Samithy to encroach on plots identified for assignment among the landless tribals.

Inaugurating a convention organised here today to discuss the draft resolution presented by the ADAC and the Adivasi Gothra Maha Sabha at the Adivasi Navothana Convention at Paravur and to explain the `Political Navothana Yatra', which she would lead from Kanhangad to Thiruvananthapuram from April 4, Ms. Janu said the programme for assigning land to the landless tribals and for their rehabilitation under the agreement had lost its momentum due to various factors. "The Adivasi Kshema Samithy and the CPI(M) controlling it are now out to torpedo the agreement by encroaching the land identified for assignment under the pretext that the agreement was not being implemented,'' she said urging the Adivasis to realise that the CPI(M) was once again making a bid to betray them.

The Left parties, she said, should have corrected their political follies that included revocation of the Kerala Scheduled Tribes (Restriction on Transfer of Land and Restoration of Alienated Lands) Act 1975 during the previous LDF rule and the brutal attack on Adivasis who `occupied' land at Thiruvonappuram as part of the agitation. "The CPI(M) has now come out to protect the Adivasis only to stop the erosion of Adivasis from the party,'' she said recalling that the Left parties were continuing to portray in poor light the Adivasi agitation that succeeded in forcing the Government to sign an agreement with the ADAC on land assignment and rehabilitation.

Accusing the CPI(M) of instigating party workers to encroach the plots surveyed by the Adivasi Masterplan Committee, she said that the Adivasi Kshema Samithy had encroached the 18 acres of land at Panavalli in violation of the High Court's stay order. The previous LDF Government had tried to hand over to a Bangalore-based estate owner the land forcibly occupied by Adivasis under her leadership in 1995 and nearby 150 acres, she said adding that she and other Adivasi families had been inhabiting the land after securing the stay order.

She also alleged that steps had been taken during the previous LDF rule to transfer the Plantation Corporation of Kerala (PCK)-owned plantations to private parties and to fell trees from Apparchikkad and Manhappullu.

She also re-iterated her demand to disband the Forest and Wildlife Department in a bid to accelerate the implementation of the agreement. The political renaissance movement to be launched from Kanhangad on April 4 would kick off a long-drawn-out struggle to highlight the demand for implementing a forest management plan with the participation of the Adivasis, she said. Adivasi and Dalits as well as other downtrodden sections to come out to re-establish their control over natural and forest resources to fight against ills of globalisation, she said.

She also urged the authorities to identify plots for assignment among the landless Adivasis in the district in the lands possessed by the Aralam Farm and the PCK as well as the vested forest lands. The moves to assign PCK land in the district were facing obstacles in the form of collective opposition from trade unions and political parties, she said.

The ADAC State convener, Sreeraman Koyyon, presided over the function. The ADAC activist, P.D. Isaac, presented the draft resolution.

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