It is disquieting to see that plain land adivasis are increasingly falling victim to land grabbing. A press conference organised by two minority rights groups on Tuesday revealed that in the last two months, two murders, a rape, a rape attempt and looting of 60 Santal houses took place in the northern part of the country.
As most indigenous people do not have documents proving ownership of their ancestral land they become easy targets of land grabbers. The land encroachers create a hostile situation through continuous intimidation and attack on the minorities. Some adivasis yield to this oppression and leave their ancestral home and some are evicted through violent means. But the perpetrators roam freely without having to face justice. This culture of impunity triggers further encroachments. Many adivasi families of Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions were, reportedly, forced to migrate out of the country stalked by discrimination and oppression. A Kapaeeng Foundation's report said that about 300 indigenous families living in Godagari,Rajshahi left the country last year.
The ruling party in its election pledge promised twice to form a land commission for plain land adivasis to resolve their land related sufferings. But nothing has happened yet. The adivasi leaders have repeatedly urged the government to at least circulate a directive to keep the grabbers off the indigenous people's land. We urge the government to issue a circular in this regard and take immediate action against land grabbers. Also the government should form a land commission to protect land rights of plain land adivasis.