GUWAHATI: The peasants and the students’ organizations of Assam have opposed the decision to hand over more than 485 hectres of land to yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth (Trust) in Chirang district of Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).

Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) which administers the BTAD has already allotted the land to Ramdev’s trust recently at Rowmari in Chirang district.

All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), one of the most powerful tribal students’ organizations in the region, has termed it illegal.

“This is illegal. The council has not consulted with the land owners before taking the decision. The land belongs to the poor people of the locality. They include Bodo, Rajbonshi and also some Muslims. This is pure injustice to these people,” ABSU president Pramod Boro told The Citizen.

The students’ body has already appealed to the BTC administration to rethink over the issue but so far nothing has happened.

“We will resume our agitation against the BTC administration’s decision to hand over the land of our farmers and poor people to a corporate body. Where these people will go now? We are gathering data on who have lost their plot of lands,” Boro added.

During the budget session in Assam Assembly in August, minister of state for revenue Pallab Lochan Das had said that that the BTC Authority allotted 484.93 hectares of land to the Patanjali Yogpeeth (Trust). He said that it was decided after the Executive Council meeting of BTC.

Das further said that the land was allotted for the establishment of Cow and Panchagavya Research for preservation and promotion of cow breeds and training and collection of medicinal plants.

Earlier this year, Ramdev's close aide Acharya Balkrishna had met Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal in this regard. Balkrishna had said that this will benefit the local farmers.

But this was not well accepted by the farmers of the state.

All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), CPI(M)'s peasant wing, which also staged their opposition to the decision, said that more than 1200 families will be displaced if the project goes on.

Tiken Das, state committee secretary of AIKS, termed it as an ‘insult’ to the farmers.

Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), an influential peasants’ body of the state headed by former Team Anna member and known RTI activist Akhil Gogoi, has also opposed the move and threatened to intensify their movement.

“We strongly oppose this decision of the government. The area falls under sixth schedule area. The BTC just cannot do it depriving the poor people,” said Akhil.

Anti-talks faction of ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom) also appealed the BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary to reconsider the decision for the greater interest of the state.

Hagrama Mohilary, on the other hand, said that they have given the land to safeguard the area from the illegal encroachers.

“These lands which are being allotted to parties are in need of protection from illegal encroachers as allotted lands are not in use since long,” Mohilary was quoted as saying by The Sentinel newspaper. – ends