Send back migrated Lambadas to Maharashtra, Adivasis tell TS govt

Deccan Chronicle.  | Pillalamarri Srinivas

Nation, Current Affairs

Adivasis are agitating to press their demand that the state and central governments remove the Lambadas from the ST list. — Representational image

INDRAVELLI (ADILABAD): Adivasis on Friday strongly criticised Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for making efforts to send the migrated Gothi Koyas back to Chhattisgarh from the borders of Telangana.

They said KCR must first send the Lambadas who migrated to Telangana from Maharashtra back to their native places. They also demanded that the Lambadas be removed from the ST list in the state as they were “cornering all the benefits of STs here.”

The Adivasi leaders alleged that BC Lambadas in Maharashtra migrated to Telangana, especially to Adilabad, since the 1970s and their migrations were still continuing. These leaders demanded that the state government stop issuing notices to the Gothi Koyas for their exit to Chhattisgarh, stop terrifying them and take back the exit notices. “We are the sons of the soil of this country,” the adivasi leaders asserted.

Adivasis extended their support to Gothi Koyas, who were facing the suppression from the state government in relation to their Podu cultivation and in the context of the recent killing of FRO Srinivas Rao.

The adivasi leaders were addressing a mass gathering titled ‘Adivasula Asthitva Poru Garjana’ organised by the Thudum Debba at the Indravelli martyrs memorial. The meeting demanded of the state government to remove the Lambadas from the ST list as they have been continuing in the list illegally.

The meeting also wanted the government to issue pattas to the podu lands that have been cultivated by the adivasis for long. Adivasi leaders said the migrated Lambadas got more benefit out of ROFR than the adivasis in Telangana.

They criticised tribal minister Satyawati Rathod for stating that Gothi Koyas were not adivasis. They said adivasis are STs and they have all the constitutional rights in the 5th and 6th Schedule areas.

Adivasis leaders stressed that Gothi Koyas will not become non-adivasi just because they migrated to bordering areas of Telangana from Chhattisgarh.

Thudum Debba leaders Godam Ganesh, Purka Bapu Rao Kotanak Vijay, Gurrala Ravinder, Mesram Nagnath, Uyke Sanjiv, Mukthi Raju, Esam Narasingarao, Tirupati, Godam Renuka, Podium Babu, and Pendore Pushparani spoke at the event.

Thudum Debba state president Bursa Pochaiah alleged that Lambadas who had gained entry into the ST list through “fraudulent” means were cornering all the educational and government employment opportunities as also the political reservations meant for the STs.

He also demanded the state government bring the non-agency villages where the adivasis population was high under 5th Schedule under the list of agency villages so that adivasis could get all the benefits on par with their counterparts living in the agency villages.

Bursa Pochaiah alleged Lambdas employees were appointed to top positions in 29 government departments in Telangana and these officials deprived other tribal groups of their rights.

He demanded that the government come up with an Adivasi Bandhu scheme and effectively implement the PESA Act and 1/70 in Telangana state.