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    Letter to the Governor and summary of the Indian people's tribunal on the issues of tribal land and alienation under LTR in Telangana

    Date : 22/05/2018

    To
    His Excellency Governor
    The State of Telangana
    Hyderabad
    Dear Hon’ble Your Excellency,

    Sub: Report of Indian Peoples’ Tribunal on LTR Cases in Scheduled Areas of
    Telangana- submitted

    Indian Peoples’ Tribunal was organized on 24th March 2018 on the issues of tribal land alienation
    under Land Transfer Regulation in Telangana at Eturunagaram, Jayashankar Bhupalapalli
    district. A panel of Jury constituted with Dr. A. Vidya Sagar, IAS, (retd), Dr. H. K. Nagu, retired
    Commissioner of Labour, Prof. Jaidheer Tirumala Rao and chaired by Justice Chandrakumar,
    retired high court judge heard the presentations made by Adivasis from erstwhile districts of
    Khammam, Warangal and Adilabad. The public hearing was attended by around 180 tribal and
    their leaders. Tribals from Gondi, Kollam, Nayakapodu, Doli and Koya communities from have
    participated. 7 tribals from Gondi community from Narnoor, Gudihathnoor, Indravelli, Sirikonda
    mandals of Adilabad, 7 koya and Kollam tribals from Manuguru, Dhammapeta, Tekulapalli,
    Janampeta, Mulakalapally from Badradri Kothagudem district and 12 members from
    Jayashankar Bhupalapally district and several tribal leaders made presentations on their
    individual land issues and the conditions of governance in 5th Schedule of the Constitution in
    Telangana. In all 40 participants backed by the land records made the presentations. Lawyers
    from tribal communities also participated and spoke.
    We have prepared an executive summary of the discussions in the public hearing. In addition we
    have also added the analysis of the data on the disposal of LTR cases. We are presenting the
    report for your perusal and further action. In this regard, we would like to make few points for
    your consideration and appropriate action.

    Subsequent to Koneru Ranga Rao headed Land Committee appointed in 2006, the Chief
    Commissioner of Land Administration (CCLA) issued series of GOs to ameliorate the conditions
    of land alienation by the tribals in Scheduled Areas. We request you to review the status of
    implementation of those GOs and direct the government to take appropriate steps to protect the
    life and lands of the tribals in Scheduled Area.

    A large chunk of lands in Scheduled Areas of Telangana is under the actual control and
    enjoyment of non-tribals and tribals who migrated from plain areas. To resolve land disputes and
    restore the lands to Adivasis, government/CCLA may be directed to set up Special Revenue
    Court at district level in addition to strengthening the existing mechanisms.
    In two out of 4 ITDAs, the District Collectors are holding additional charges of Project Officers,
    who are not giving sufficient time and attention to address the land disputes. The government
    may be directed to appoint full time Project Officers from central services who can discharge
    their duties with competence and effect.
    The report shows that the posts of Special Deputy Collectors (SDC) have been vacant for the
    past 3 years and have just been filled and as a result of which 4827 cases have been pending for
    many years. And hundreds of case are pending at the Project Officer level also. The government
    may be directed to strengthen the revenue court mechanism to defend the constitutional status of
    tribals.
    It is found in all cases pending before various revenue courts, the tribals have absolutely no legal
    support by competent lawyers. As a result tribals are officially loosing thousands of acres.
    It may be observed from the statistics provided, that the extent of land to be restored to tribals
    after verdict in their favour increased from 10444 acres in 2005 to 20023 acres in 2018. The
    reluctance of the local administration to restore the land to tribals from the non-tribals is very
    visible. The government may be directed to take steps to restore the lands to the tribals.

    The tribals have lost nearly one lakh acres (99765) of land to the non-tribals. The Koneru Ranga
    Rao Land Committee recommended for review of all the cases lost by the government. That has
    not happened so far.
    The non-tribals of Scheduled Areas are enjoying a large amount of lands by getting stays in
    hundreds or thousands of cases from the High Court. Some of the stays are still in force since
    1980 and the government has not taken measures to get them vacated. This has virtually sealed
    the fate of lands of tribals in the hands of non-tribals. These is need for constitution of special
    bench in High Court to hear these cases and resolve the disputes in time bound manner. We
    request his Excellency to use his good offices to take up the matter with the high court of
    Telangana.
    In Gaddam Narsa Reddy And Ors. vs Collector, Adilabad District And others (AIR 1982 AP 1)
    the High Court of Andhra Pradesh had virtually validated the transactions of transfer of
    immovable property in Scheduled Area prior to Land Transfer Regulation of 1959 and 1963
    came into force, whereas the Tribal Areas Regulation of 1359 (1949) of Hyderabad State also
    prohibited the transfer of immovable property by the revenue officials without the consent of the
    Agent. There is need to challenge the full bench judgment in Gaddam Narsa Reddy And Ors. vs
    Collector, Adilabad District And others by the government. We request His Excellency to direct
    the government to challenge this judgment so as to restore the lands alienated during 1954-55,
    when Kasra Phahani records were updated.
    The government of Telangana, which started the cleaning of land records should stop them in the
    5
    th Scheduled Agency area. The consent of the Grama Sabha is not taken before confirming the
    titles of the lands in the records. The tribal communities fear that this would further permanently
    alienate thousands of tribal lands to the non-tribals.

    This report is our humble effort to bring to your notice the issues faced by the Indigenous
    communities in Telangana. In view of the above concerns, we pray Your Excellency to go

    through the Executive Summary of the Report and take appropriate actions Your Excellency
    deems fit and proper.

    With regards
    Dr. Murali Karnam, Advocate and Academic
    TV Ramesh, Advocate
    P1, Rathnidhi Towers, Snehapuri Colony
    Nacharam Road, Hyderabad
    murali.karnam@gmail.com
    9866479775

    Copy to
    1. Chief Secretary, Secretariate, State of Telangana, Hyderabad
    2. Principle Secretary, Tribal Welfare, State of Telangana, Hyderabad
    3. Member Secretary, Tribes Advisory Council-cum- Commissioner, Masab Tank,
    Hyderabad
    4. The District Collector, Badradri Kothagudem District
    5. The District Collector, Jayashankar Bhupalapalli District
    6. The District Collector, Adilabad
    7. The District Collector, Komram Bhim District, Asifabad
    8. The District Collector, Mahabubabad

    PFA, the executive summary of the IPT

    Letter to Governor of Telangana and Executive Summary of IPT on Tribal Land Alienation(1)
    0

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