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Tribals demand land rights for women


New Delhi : Two days after the central government appeared to concede the demands of land rights to millions of landless tribals and villagers, organisers of the protest Wednesday released a 12-point demand charter with special focus on providing land right to women.

Releasing a 12-point preamble of land policy, the organisers of the rally that saw 25,000 landless villagers walking 322-km from Gwalior to Delhi demanded the allotment of government revenue land to the landless poor as soon as possible.

“We are going to give this charter to the government with a focus on providing land rights to tribal women and those village women who have suffered because of various government industrial initiatives. In case of shortage of revenue land, they must identify wastelands and distribute these amongst needy people,” said Rajagopal P.V., founder of Ekta Parishad that has spearheaded the rally.

Some other important features of the charter include strict enforcement of land ceiling laws, formation of National Land Reform Committee, National Land Authority Council and fast-track courts to settle lingering land disputes.

“Inclining to our demands, the government has promised to form the committee. In one month it will come up with guidelines on land reforms as well as fast-track courts to settle lingering land disputes,” Rajagopal told reporters.

He said the committee will be headed by the rural development minister and will be responsible for monitoring the enforcement of the policy,” he explained.

Rajagopal stated that the committee will constitute experts drawn from various fields to come up with suggestions on how to undertake land reforms that would help the people engaged in farming.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will head the council, which will come up in little more than three months. It will have 50 percent members that are not administrators.

“This is just the starting. There is a long way to go,” added Rajagopal.

According to Ekta Parishad there are over 50 million landless people in India.

He also stated that the governments of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have given Rs. 100,000 each to the families of marchers who died in an accident during the march. The district collector of Gwalior has announced that for each of the dead the families would get an insurance amount of Rs. 50,000.

Besides, the Mathura police has given Rs.100,000, and Ekta Parishad gave Rs. 50,000 each to the families of those killed.