Tripura Families Spend Nights In Forest Areas Peku Cherra To Draw Attention Of Govt Towards Their Plight Of Being 'Landless'

Tripura Families Spend Nights In Forest Areas Peku Cherra To Draw Attention Of Govt Towards Their Plight Of Being 'Landless'

The sole purpose of the unique movement is to get permanent settlement through individual land titles issued by the Tripura government.

ANIUpdated: Saturday, May 18, 2024, 04:55 PM IST
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Manik Saha | PTI

Agartala: Around 30 to 40 families from different parts of North Tripura district have been spending nights in forest areas of Peku Cherra in the Panisagar subdivision of the same district in order to draw the attention of the government towards their plight of being landless.

According to them, they had homes built on government lands and hence they could be evicted from the place at any time. The sole purpose of the unique movement is to get permanent settlement through individual land titles issued by the Tripura government.

With the hope of a permanent settlement, the families shifted to the forest areas and set up makeshift huts using tarpaulin sheets and bamboo. Even as they believe their move would not bring a solution to their longstanding problem, they describe the act as an attempt to make the government hear their voices.

Problems Highlighted By The Locals

The families living here are undergoing different kinds of problems. According to Kartik Nama, his house located at the Jayashree area is built on a parcel of land that was recently allocated for the construction of a police station.

"We have come over here from the Jayashree area which falls under the jurisdiction of Dhanajay Para. We have been living in the Jayashree area for two generations now. Our house is located next to the police station. Recently, almost half of our land was occupied by the police station authorities. The other half is also allocated for other government construction works. If this situation persists, we won't have even an inch of land to live on," Nama told ANI.

Nama is also a beneficiary of the PM Awas Yojana but his desire to live in the new dwelling is shattered after the state government is now trying to retrieve the piece of land under his illegal possession.

"The truth is, I have just completed the construction of my new dwelling that was funded by a government scheme. But uncertainties are looming large on the future of the house. I have come over here to make the government listen to our pleas. If the government gives me the right to live on the piece of land where my house was built, I would be the first person to leave this forest land," Nama further explained.

Nama heads a family of six but only he and his wife are in staying in the makeshift hut. On the other hand, Krishna Nath who hails from the Kanchanpur subdivision area said that his family took shelter in the forest area to avoid the ethnic tension that prevailed after displaced Brus were settled in their neighbourhood. His family also doesn't possess legal ownership of the land where they used to live before moving here.

"We have been staying in Kanchanpur before shifting to this forest land. Earlier, we used to stay in the Anandabazar area. We shifted to Dasda from Anandabazar for the riot-like situation prevailed there. Similar was the reason for which we had to move to Kanchanpur and now we are here," Nath told ANI.

He also alleged that the newly settled Brus were the reason behind the ethnic tensions prevailing in the areas they used to live in. "We lived in a rented space for some time. But we want the government to listen to our problems and chalk out a solution for us," he told ANI.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the opposition CPI(M) party led by two MLAs visited the forest area and spoke to the people who migrated to the forest. The MLAs urged the people to return home as the law of the land doesn't permit organized human settlement in the forest areas.

"We could convince several families and so far, five families returned to their homes. We have reviewed the situation here and we shall highlight their issues before the concerned authorities. We shall also raise their voice in the forthcoming assembly session," CPI(M) MLA Shailendra Chandra Nath told ANI.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Manik Saha had also spoken on the issue and said that the state government would look into the matter on humanitarian grounds.

Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of an event, Saha said, "As per the act, there is no provision of allowing people to live in the reserve forest areas. However, we shall look at the issue on humanitarian grounds."

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