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Mon, 25 Sep 2017

Northeast Today

Council of Nokma Terms Ex-Rebel Bernard Marak’s Claims as Absurd

Council of Nokma Terms Ex-Rebel Bernard Marak’s Claims as Absurd
September 08
17:39 2017

NET Bureau, Saidul Khan

The council of Nokmas, a conglomeration of village chief on Friday denounced the claims of ex-rebel Bernard Marak as “Nokma” and “Chief of Tura Nokma Committee” as absurd and strange. The council said that claims made by Marak were highly condemnable.

“According to Garo customary laws and traditional practices, nobody can claim himself as Nokma of A’king (clan land). A’king Nokma are appointed by the chras (chief of the clan) and maharis (clan members) and then get registered in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC)”, the release said objecting Marak self style nokmaship.

Making sharp censure on Marak, the council further said, “Time tested Garo customary laws never permit the Nokma to take decision, action alone on important matters. He/she has to consult the chras and maharis beforehand and with their consent only, action can be taken. Even then, the person so appointed must be a member of her ma’chong or sub-clan only”.

Marak had served “notice” in Tura town asking people to register their land under Mouza – X.

The deputy commissioner of West Garo Hills Pravin Bakshi has recently issued an order and had termed the notice served by Marak as “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.

Marak has challenged Bakshi and has approached Meghalaya High Court and has filed a PIL on September 6 against state government, GHADC and other challenging the Land Transfer Act 1955 and the land pattas issued by GHADC.

“GHADC issued pattas (document of land ownership) over the A’khing land without the consent of the Nokma when there was a ruling already in the Court which judged District Councils are not authority of land in the Sixth Scheduled areas. GHADC and Government are politically united in exploiting the weak and the poor of Garo Hills for which this PIL is filed”, said Marak in a release.

Marak has claimed that GHADC has facilitated the State Government to occupy huge lands in Garo Hills by issuing patta instead of protecting the lands of the Scheduled Tribes.

“Government is rarely acquired land in Garo hills and payment of compensation to the actual authority and custodian of land (Nokmas) hardly took place. They totally disrespected the traditional heads and the traditional laws of the Garos which were openly violated changing the rules of the land owning system of the Garos and franchise of the Nokma into patta system which diluted the cultural identity of the Garos over land”, Marak added.

On the controversy over eviction of people from a Rongkachiring locality in Tura, Marak was making attempt to facilitate the people and had asked them not to vacate the land. However, the people on September 6 met Bakshi and have decided to vacate their homes as government has promised them to accommodate them at the newly constructed housing complex in Tura.

The GHADC has also served a show cause notice to Marak for his claims and alleged “highhandedness” for issuing notices to people in Tura.

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