Tuesday, April 8, 2008

15 evicted indigenous families in Patnitala finally get land deeds


Finally, Naogaon district administration distributed deeds of permanent settlement of about 1.33 acres of khas land among 15 landless indigenous families in North Kazipara in Dibor union under Patnitala upazila.

Some local land grabbers evicted them from the lands in November last year.

The deeds were written at a simple ceremony, held at Patnitala on March 31.

Sudhir Tirki, president of Patnitala unit of Jatiya Adibashi Parishad, Gulu Murmu, president of the upazila unit of Adibashi Samaj Unnayan Shangathan, Rakhi Mrong, publication secretary of Bangladesh Adibashi Odhikar Andolon and organising secretary Kerina Hasda were present on the occasion.

The 15 people who got the land deeds are Nikhil Ekka, Khuyu Kujur, Kison Kerketa, Shusil Toppo, Buddhinath Kujur, Banu Ekka, Khuyu Ekka, Hembo Ekka, Subol Lakra, Rupchan Ria, Chanua Nania, Palanu, Anil Toppo, Rabi Ekka and Sujil Ekka.

They were residing in the area since the British era, sources said.

The local administration in 1990 leased the lands to a local influential man--Idris Ali-- and his brother Safiuddin for 99 years. The indigenous families were defeated in several legal battles.

In November last year, some 200 goons engaged by the lessees evicted the indigenous families.

As The Daily Star published reports on the incidents and different social bodies raised their voice. The district hen administration promised permanent settlement of the lands to the evicted indigenoius families.

Later, the upazila land distribution committee cancelled the lease.

"We always try to work for people. But our activities are hampered by political influence", said Upazila Nirbahi Officer M Abdul Mannan.

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