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Para legal Army necessary to solve tribal land disputes:Jairam

Written by: Staff
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Hyderabad, Jun 29 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh today expressed the need for a ''paralegal army'' to settle the land disputes of tribals in Andhra Pradesh.

Participating in a workshop on land and legal assistance organised by the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), he said there were 43 law colleges in the state and students from these colleges should come forward to take up land disputes cases of tribals. ''These students should emerge as a Para Legal Army in the state to help tribals get back their lands, which were in dispute for several years,'' he said.

'Sunil, a student of NALSAR law university has proved his work in the case of Manku Bai, a tribal woman of Adilabad. He was instrumental in Manku Bai getting back her share of land from her father's property, which was in dispute for 37 years', the minister noted.

Mr Ramesh said Manku Bai's father Todsam Gangu leased his 18 acres of agricultural land to a money lender Shankar for three years and took a loan of Rs 1400. But after three years Shankar refused to give the land back saying he owned the land. With the legal assistance provided by SERP, Manku Bai got back the land, he added.

Referring to the number of cases, Mr Jairam said he was shocked to see that only 72,000 cases under Andhra Pradesh Schedule Areas Land Transfer Regulation, (APSALTR), 1959 came to their notice. He said there would be many more cases. 'Out of the 72,000 cases, 50 per cent cases went in favour of non-tribals and 2000 cases are pending now', he said.

Mr Ramesh suggested that the department should now conduct a district-wise analysis about land alienation with respect to tribals in the state. The department should also unveil a programme to take up again the 50 per cent cases, which went in favour of non-tribals. For the remaining 2000 cases too the department should make efforts so that they went in favour of tribals, he said.

SERP CEO T Vijaya Kumar welcomed the guests and participants and Principal Secretary (rural development) K Raju gave an overview of Indira Kranthi Patham approach to land issues relating to the poor.

UNI ASJ AA VD HT1855

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