- the work methods of the commission would become more inclusive and participatory (by removing the virtual veto powers of the commission’s chairperson and by providing him a casting vote only in the event of lack of consensus or unanimity); and
- the uncertainties over the jurisdiction of the commission would be clarified ( for example, by redefining “fringelands” and by clarifying that the commission would hear disputes involving India-returnee Jumma refugees and other land-related disputes);
The collective memory of people - particularly hill people - in the CHT of bias, corruption
If a land survey were conducted before the Commission resolves the disputes appearing before it, it would be tantamount to the commission divesting its responsibilities of dispute resolution, because, until and unless evidence to the contrary was available to rebut the findings and other records of the survey, such findings and records would remain unchallenged and established. If the CHT people felt they could get justice at the hands of survey officials there would be no need for a commission to be formed that included a retired Supreme Court judge, chairpersons of the regional and district councils and circle chiefs.
The Accord provides for such a commission and categorically states that any land survey, if conducted, should be done on the basis of advice from the CHT Regional Council, and only after the rehabilitation of India-returned Jumma refugees, rehabilitation of internally displaced people, resolution of land disputes and grant of two acres of land to landless hillpeople.
Is it therefore not understandable why the CHT indigenous peoples continue to resist any moves for a land survey on all CHT lands? If data and statistics on the physical properties of the CHT land and other natural resources are required, that can be done using modern GIS and other techniques, but only after the three Hill District Councils are able to formulate policies in consultation with the chiefs, headmen and other members of CHT society, under the guidance of the CHT Regional Council.