By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Nongkrem legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit (HSPDP) on Tuesday urged the State Government to take all possible steps to ensure that tribal people from other parts of the region are not allowed to purchase land in Meghalaya.
“The right to own the land in the State should rest only with the local indigenous tribals of the State. Tribals from other parts of the region like Mizos, Hmars and others should not have the right to purchase land,” Basaiawmoit said during Question Hour on Tuesday.
He said that the 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.
Basaiawmoit informed that it has come to his notice that tribals from other parts of the region own land at Madanriting, a locality that falls under his constituency.
Basaiawmoit stated that if the tribals from other parts of the region are allowed to purchase land then this would dilute Section 21 (e) under the Meghalaya Transfer of Land Regulation Act, 1971.
Section 2 (e) of the Act defines ‘tribal’ as a person belonging to any of the Scheduled Tribes pertaining to Meghalaya and as specified in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, as amended from time to time and, for the purpose of this Act shall also include the Rabhas, Kacharis and Kochs residing in Meghalaya.
The Nongkrem legislator also wanted to know whether the Government was contemplating to specify the name ‘tribal’.
In reply, Deputy Chief Minister in charge of Revenue, Prof RC Laloo, said that the Government was not aware that other tribes apart from the indigenous tribals are acquiring land in the State.
“The Government has received suggestion and petition and we have constituted a Joint Committee on matters relating to amendment of the Meghalaya land regulation Act,” Prof Laloo added.