BHUBANESWAR: Tribals from 13 districts staged a massive demonstration here on Tuesday demanding immediate implementation of Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act 1996. Under the banner of Odisha State PESA, its gram sabha coordination committee members took out a rally demanding implementation of PESA Act in true form and spirit, recognition of gram sabha as the decision-making authority, ensure protection under Odisha State Immovable Property Transfer Act 1956, Regulation-2 and not to allow proposed amendment of Regulation-2 as raised in Tribal Advisory Council.
Addressing the gathering, advisor Sudarshan Chhotray, president Budhua Jojo and secretary Panduram Hembrum appealed both Union and state government to protect the Constitutional rights of tribals, tribal heritage, tribal culture and empower gram sabha as the ultimate decision-making unit at the grassroots level thus ensuring tribal self rule.A five-member delegation submitted a memorandum to Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal and apprised him about the long-pending Constitutional rights of the millions of tribals.
The Governor assured the delegation that he will take up the issue of implementation of PESA Act 1996 in true spirit in Odisha. He will also apprise President of India Droupadi Murmu and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda about it. Besides, the Governor expressed concern over the proposed amendment of Odisha Immovable Transfer of Land Act 1956, Regulation-2, on transfer of land of tribals to non-tribals.