Image: Fight for rights: Adivasis staging a rasta roko at Jainoor in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district on Thursday.
( The article has been republished from The Hindu dated 24 August 2017. )
Adivasis from Adilabad, Kumram Bheem Asifabad and Mancherial districts on Thursday demanded a criminal case be booked against KB Asifabad District Collector M. Champalal besides surrendering him to the government for having ‘illegally’ issued a circular asking Tahsildars to issue ‘pahanis’ in Agency villages.
A gathering of aboriginal tribe Raj Gond, Kolam and Thotti protesters condemned the action of the top government official saying he ought to have been aware of special laws governing Agency areas which forbid it.
Adivasi organisations, including the Rai Centres, Adivasula Hakkula Porata Samiti, also known as Tudum Debba, Adivasi Sankshema Parishad and supported by CPI’s Rythu Coolie Sangham, took out a rally and staged a rasta roko at Jainoor mandal headquarters where Asifabad MLA Kova Laxmi, herself a Raj Gond, and MLC Puranam Satish had distributed pahanis written manually following the issue of circular by the Collector.
The Adivasis also demanded an open apology to the tribal community from Ms. Laxmi for having participated in distribution of pahanis which would create havoc in the lives of the poor from her own community.
The protesters submitted a representation to Jainoor CI and Tahsildar also demanding arrest of the officials who have issued manual pahanis.
At a public meeting speakers alleged that the plan to dilute Agency laws was hatched by former Adilabad MP Ramesh Rathod, who recently joined the ruling TRS. Tudum Debba president and former Boath MLA Soyam Bapu Rao and Adivasi Sankshema Parishad president Mesram Anand were among those who participated.
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