AIARLA Protest for Tribal Land Rights in Vishakhapatnam

Chatarjipuram is a small habitation in M.K. Patanam revenue village of Rolugunta Mandal in Vishakhapatnam district. 'Gadaba' are Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) living there who cultivate nearly 25 acres' dry land since a long time.  The tribal cultivators name was recorded in the old village revenue records.

After Mr. Chandrababu Naidu's TDP government came to power in the state of Andhra Pradesh, he started digitalization of village revenue records and opened the flood gate to the land mafia. Using the digitization drive to their advantage and with active cooperation from present Revenue Divisional officer and the Tehsildar, the land mafia were able to remove the names of the tribals and incorporated the names of the non-tribal non-cultivators as cultivators in computerized land records.

'Losingi' is another PVTG village on situated on a hilltop in Rolungunta Mandal, where 'Kondh' tribe resides. However, some non-tribal belonging to 'Sarabavaram' a village in the plains, bribed the revenue officers and were able to get the pattas (titles) of the government land on which crops are being grown by the Kondh tribe farmers, assigned to their names. The non-tribal using these titles are getting huge loans from national banks along with funds for 'land development program' under MGNREGS. The tribal people of Losingi submitted complaints for cancellation of these pattas to the Tehsildar, RDO and the Collector, but no action was taken. Several tribal villages like 'Pedapeta', 'Konthalam' and others village are facing similar land problems. On 11 July, AIARLA organized the tribal communities and conducted a rally in the Divisional headquarter of Narsipatanam from RTC complex to the RDO office. AIARLA demanded an in-depth enquiry by Project Officer of Integrated Tribal Development Agency of Paderu and it also demanded action against the Tehsildar of Rolugunta who changed the revenue records to favor the non-tribal non-cultivators. Nearly a hundred tribals and Dalits participated in the rally. Com Janardhan and Com. Chanti lead the rally which was addressed by Com. Bugatha Bangaru Rao, Central Committee Member of CPI (ML).

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