Some non- tribals, led by realtors, businessmen, contractors, political leaders living in the tribal areas of Adilabad district came out openly against tribal laws and recommendations made to protect the rights of tribals by Koneru Rangarao Committee.
Majority of these non- tribals and their leaders had migrated to tribal areas in the last 40 years from bordering Maharashtra and settled here in Adilabad district of Telangana.
Non- tribal leaders are planning to organize a public meeting in Utnoor on October 13 demanding the state government bring changes in existing tribal laws such as 1/70 and issuing patta certificates to their lands to enable land transfers between the non- tribals.
Realtors and businessmen are eyeing the valuable lands in tribal areas in Utnoor, Kerameri, Indravelli, Narnoor, Ichoda, Jainoor and Asifabad, Tiryani and Neredigonda which have already become like towns with the penetration of non- tribals and migrants and settled in these towns.
Non- tribal K. Pochaiah of Utnoor town said the leaders of the ‘Girijanetharula Hakkula Parirakshna committee’ was mostly comprised with leaders of a opposition party, realtors, contractors and businessman and they raked up the issue to protect their lands and assets in the agency areas and start real estate business in the tribal areas which requires land purchases and transfers legally and start mining business in the agency areas.
Leaders of non- tribals rights protection committee say they do want to breach the existing tribal laws including1/70 Act and PESA and other safe guards but their rights should be protected brining changes in the existing acts.
The leaders argue that they were not getting bank loans on their lands for which official did not issue pattas and Pahani and they can’t sell their lands to non- tribals even in an emergency though they have been living in the tribal areas since long time.
But hundreds of non- tribals constructed buildings and shops in the agency areas with the help of the officials concerned in violation of the tribal laws in the district.
Non tribal businessmen, realtors and political leaders jointly established ginning factories in some of the agency areas and exploiting the Adivasi farmers on various counts as far cotton purchases and prices and weight was concerned.
Local businessmen and even some of agriculture officials colluded with cotton and ginning factories encouraging cultivation commercial crop and soya among the Adivasis instead traditional crops which make them self-sufficient in food grains and nutritional food.
Non- tribal rights protection committee leader Younus Akbani said ‘their fight was not against the Adivasis and their constitutional rights and the existing tribal laws but to protect non- tribals rights in the tribal areas’.
Now the non- tribals have become significant in deciding the election results in Asifabad, Boath and Khanapur Assembly constituencies reserved for ST’s and Adilabad MP seat which was also reserved for ST in the district.
There are allegations that some plain area tribal leaders indirectly extending support and funding to the non- tribal demanding for relaxation of Tribal Acts enabling land transfers among the non–tribals in the agency area eyeing the non- tribals votes in the future elections.
Adivasi Sanksema Parishath state vice- president, Kanaka Yadavrao said giving relaxation in any form in existing tribal laws will a pose threat to the very existence of the Adivasis in the newly formed Telangana state and it will be a major blow to the constitutional safe guards to the Adivasis.
Businessmen and realtors are planning to grab the valuable lands owned by poor Dalits and Backward communities with land transfers if permitted between the non- tribals.
Non- tribal staying in the agency areas is illegal but they were coexisting with the local Adivasis after their migration. The 1/70 Act will not allow the any official land transfers even between non- tribals in the agency.