Assam Bodos allot 1132-acre land to Ramdev to save it from Muslim migrants?

GUWAHATI: An autonomous tribal council in Assam has given unused agricultural land to Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali trust, primarily to prevent its encroachment by the illegal Bangladeshi migrants.

The 1,132.5-acre land in Chirang district was given to the trust earlier this year by the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) despite protests by groups and organisations against the decision.

The All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) on Thursday opposed allotment of hectares of land to Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth (Trust) in Chirang district of Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD). “The BTC administration handed over the land to Ramdev’s Patanjali last year. They have already started some construction work. We do not want this land to be given to Patanjali,” ABSU president Pramod Boro told reporters in Guwahati.

The people of BTAD want a government institution on the land for the benefit of local residents, he said. “The allotted area includes legally owned land from Bodos, Rajbongshis and some Muslims. Also government-owned plots have been handed over. However, no deal or compensation has been paid to the land owners yet. In fact, many owners do not know that their land has been given,” Boro alleged.
The student leader said most conflicts in Assam were taking place due to land related issues and so the authorities should have acted responsibly. “The BTC authority is saying the area is being encroached by illegal immigrants and to stop that, the land was handed over to Patanjali. What logic is this? There are many places across Assam where encroachments have taken place. Will all those land be handed over to Patanjali?” asked Boro.

During the Budget Session in Assam Assembly earlier this month, minister of state for Revenue Pallab Lochan Das had informed the House that the BTC Authority allotted 484.93 hectares of land to the Patanjali Yogpeeth (Trust).

“As per decision of the Executive Council meeting of BTC, land has been allotted to Patanjali Yogpeeth (Trust) for establishment of Cow and Panchagavya Research for preservation and promotion of cow breeds and training and collection of medicinal plants,” he had said. The minister had also informed that the land has to be utilised within three years from the issue of the allotment order, otherwise it would be reverted to the Revenue Department of BTC.