ADILABAD: Adivasis have launched padayatras demanding that the state and central governments remove Lambadas from the ST list.
The protest action comes at a time when the state government was inaugurating Bhanjara as also an Adivasi Bhavan in Hyderabad and the Congress and BJP demanding that the state government implement 10 per cent reservation to tribals in the state.
The padayatras are also seen in the context of a pressure tactic when elections are approaching in the state.
The adivasis allege that Lambadas are continuing illegally in the ST list and this is against the Constitutional provisions. They are also demanding issuing of pattas to the podu lands and restoring the GO 3. They are raising altogether 15 demands.
The padayatra from Adilabad will cover 110 km for its culmination at the historical Jodeghat in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district.
Padayatras were launched from Asifabad, Nirmal, Adilabad and Mancherial districts on September 15 and these would reach Jodeghat on September 21. A public meeting will be held at historical Jodeghat and Thudum Debba leaders will announce their future course of action.
Adivasis of villages en route are welcoming the padayatras with traditional drum beats and joining the yatra for some distance. Adivasi leaders garlanded statues of Komaram Bheem and BR Ambedkar along their way. Elderly men and women are also participating in the padayatra along with the youths.
Thudum Debba district president Godam Ganesh alleged that chief minister Chandrashekar Rao has again cheated the adivasis vis-à-vis a promise of constituting district-level coordination committees on podu issue.
This was nothing but postponing the issuing of pattas to the podu lands that have been cultivated for long by the adivasis, he said.
He urged the state government to take all possible steps to resolve the podu land issue without wasting time on new committees.
Godam Ganesh said Lambadas were continuing in the ST list from 1976. They gained entry into the list through “fraudulent” means during the Emergency time, he alleged.
Lambadas were not in the ST list under Article 342 of the Indian Constitution and the inclusion was done without the required recommendation from official agencies based on the anthropological survey report, he said.
Thudum Debba district general secretary Purka Bapurao alleged the Lambadas were cornering all the benefits meant for the tribals in education and employment.
Thudum Debba state president Bursa Pochaiah was leading a padayatra that began from Gundala of Tiryani of Komaram Bheem Asifabad district.
Thudum Debba senior leaders Mukthi Raju, Sidam Bheemrao, Kodapa Nagesh, Shyam Rao, Uyke Sanjeev, Ramdas, Pushpa Rani, Godam Renuka and Soyam Lalitha were participating in the padayatra....