Koraput tribals regroup to relaunch land seizure drive | india | Hindustan Times
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Koraput tribals regroup to relaunch land seizure drive

india Updated: Oct 17, 2010 08:50 IST
Priya Ranjan Sahu

After lying low for a year, the Chasi Mulia Adibasi Sangha (CMAS) has started to reorganise itself at Nayaranpatna in Koraput district of Orissa.

About 3000 tribals affiliated to the CMAS on Friday "re-captured" about 500 acres of land in Narayanpatna block and tilled the land.

Korput SP Anup Kumar Sahu said that police had taken all precaution to avert any untoward incident. "It was a symbolic act by the tribals to assert their right over the land," he said.

The CMAS started its movement to "free" land from landowners in the district five years back. It maintained that the non-tribals had grabbed the land of the tribals, making the latter landless over the years. It demanded an amendment in Orissa Land Reform Act.

By May, 2009, the CMAS had captured about 2000 acres of land, redistributed them among tribals and ran a parallel administration in Koraput.

Non-tribals were attacked and their properties damaged. Narayanpatna became a conflict zone in the country as hundreds of non-tribals fled the villages in the block since then for fear of being killed.

In November last year, thousands of CMAS activists held a demonstration in front of Narayanpatna police station when two of the activists were killing in police firing. Police arrested several tribals and CMAS chief Nachika Linga went into hiding.

After lying low for several months, the CMAS started regrouping. A week back Linga, though wanted by the police, held a rally of about 5000 tribals at a forested village in the block and asked them to recapture the land.