In Picture: Demanding separate tribal district, members of Girijana Sankshema Parishad observing a fast unto death in Bhadrachalam on Wednesday | EXPRESS PHOTO
KHAMMAM: Local tribal associations in Bhadrachalam have launched a fast unto death at ITDA office on Wednesday, seeking a separate tribal district consisting of 24 tribal mandals.
In the wake of the state government’s plan to form new districts, demand for new districts gained momentum across the state and people of Bhadrachalam are also raising their demand.
A District Sadhana Committee has been formed and people are staging dharnas and rasta rokos, and have been sitting on relay hunger strikes for the last 20 days.
On the other hand, a tribal association began its agitation on Wednesday, demanding Bhadrachalam as a tribal district. 13 members launched a fast unto death in front of ITDA office. Speaking to media, Girijana Sankshema Parishad (GSP) state convener Sonde Veeraiah said there are specific rules in the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution that allow tribal self-rule. He demanded the state government to honour the Fifth Schedule and declare a separate district for tribals.
As per the Panchayat Raj Extension to Scheduled Areas Act 1996, tribal Areas should be administered by tribals, he said. “Tribals would not get justice under non-tribal administration, which has already been proved in the last 60 years,” he said.
GSP state vice president Murram Veera Bhadram said tribal community was not allowed to develop under non-tribal rule and at least now the state government should consider their demand and declare Bhadrachalam as a tribal district and support tribals’ development.
GSP state president Payam Satyanarayana said the state government should honour the tribal agitation and declare a separate tribal district.
The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution allows for tribal self-rule by a Tribes Advisory Council, to advise on matters pertaining the welfare of tribes.
News Courtsey: The New Indian Express, June 2, 2016