Include Non-Scheduled Adivasi villages in the Fifth Schedule: AIARLA

The rally was organized by the All India Agricultural and Rural Labour Association (AIARLA) and the CPI-ML (Liberation) party.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  18 Nov 2021 2:36 AM GMT
Include Non-Scheduled Adivasi villages in the Fifth Schedule: AIARLA

Visakhapatnam: Adivasis (Tribals) took out a rally at V Madugula in Visakhapatnam district on Wednesday demanding that their villages be included in the Scheduled area.

The rally was organized by the All India Agricultural and Rural Labour Association (AIARLA) and the CPI-ML (Liberation) party.

Addressing the gathering, Human Rights Forum Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states Coordination Committee member VS Krishna said Fifth Schedule dispensation is a unique and exceptional nature endowed with explicit Constitutional recognition.

He said historic injustice was done to Adivasis for many decades because of non-inclusion in the Fifth Schedule of those villages that were predominantly Adivasi. He recalled that the State Cabinet, had in resolution No 58/76 in the then undivided AP on March 10, 1976, requested the Central government to include 805 Non-Scheduled Adivasi villages in the Scheduled area. Had that been done, Adivasis in those villages would not have continued to suffer immense injustice, he said.

Of these 805 villages, there are 553 in Andhra Pradesh. These include 91 in Anantagiri, Devarapalli, Cheedikada, V Madugula, Ravikamatham, Rolugunta, Golugonda and Nathavaram Mandals.

Krishna said as a consequence of this neglect, caused because of political opportunism and bureaucratic apathy, Adivasis in these villages were deprived of Constitutional guarantees and protective legislation. They were unable to access developmental programmes and welfare measures meant for Adivasis in the Scheduled areas.

Krishna said there was a short notice question (No. 74) that came up for discussion in the State Assembly on March 13, 2007, when YS Rajasekhar Reddy was Chief Minister and Redya Naik the Tribal Welfare Minister.

"They gave the express assurance that justice would be rendered to the Adivasis and that all efforts would be made to get the Non-Scheduled villages included in the Scheduled area. This inclusion failed to happen and as a result, Adivasis continued to be deprived of rights and authorities bestowed upon them by the Constitution," he said.

The HRF functionary urged the State government to send the relevant proposals to the Centre without further delay.

AIARLA (All India Agricultural & Rural Labour Association) National secretary PS Ajay Kumar said the State government had directed all ITDAs to focus upon Non-Scheduled Adivasis and to forward requisite proposals after conducting Grama Sabhas.

However, ruling party legislators were obstructing this, he alleged. Consequently, except for villages in Anantagiri Mandal, all others in the remaining Manuals were excluded from the list. The stated intention of the government was to render justice to the Adivasis, but MLAs of V Madugula, Chodavaram, and Narsipatnam were obstructing these efforts, he added.

Ajay Kumar clarified that as per guidelines issued by the Central government, consent of the MLA was not required for the inclusion of villages in the Scheduled area. It was regrettable that ITDAs, which were supposed to ensure the welfare of Adivasis, were doing the bidding of ruling party MLAs. He demanded that the ITDAs at least now realize their fault and forward a comprehensive and proper list to the government.

Secretary of the Joint Action Committee of Adivasi Unions and Federations Ramarao Dora emphasized the need to resolve the land question and to protect the land rights of the Adivasis. Because of the non-implementation of statutory rights for Adivasis, their resources in the Non-Scheduled areas were being plundered. G.O 20 had compounded injustice done to Adivasis and this has to be immediately remedied, he added.

A large number of activists of the Fifth Schedule Sadhana Samithi as well as Adivasis from the Non-Scheduled villages participated in the rally. Memoranda were addressed to the ITDA PO and the Tahsildhar calling for the issuance of pattas for surplus ceiling land being cultivated by Adivasis for 30 years in Jalampalli panchayat of V Madugula Mandal.

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