Land ownership not only criteria for rehab: Assam Governor
Guwahati, Dec 7 (PTI) Assam Governor J B Patnaik has rejected the contention that people displaced during the recent ethnic clashes in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) and nearby region should submit proof of land ownership as a precondition for their rehabilitation.
Speaking to media today on sidelines of a function to mark the Armed Forces Flag Day at the Raj Bhavan here, Patnaik said every Indian citizen has a right to be rehabilitated and having name in the voters'' list fulfils the criteria.
"If you make land the only basis for rehabilitation then there are lakhs of landless people in this country. Even in Guwahati also there are large numbers of landless people who cannot produce any paper about the ownership of their land and there are people also who have not got any land at all," Patnaik said.
He added: "That is unfair to a large number of people...
Therefore, citizenship should be the basis of rehabilitation".
Patnaik said voters'' list should be used for the purpose.
The Governor said he had met a delegation yesterday including Deputy Chief of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) Kampa Borgoyari and Assam Minister for Transport & Tourism Chandan Brahma regarding the issue and told them the same thing.
"The main problem is that of rehabilitation of those who have left their houses... I made them (BPF leaders) agree that the basis of rehabilitation should be names in the voters'' list," Patnaik said.
The Group of Ministers on rehabilitation formed by the state government and the BTC had earlier agreed that rehabilitation should be on the basis of land ownership proof.
"That (agreement) was for a limited purpose and for a limited time. That time is over," Patnaik said. .