ADC: 3 new customary law bills placed in council, 3 for amendments
By Our Correspondent, 11/02/2020, Agartala

In what appears to be a move to protect the culture, land and linguistic identity of tribal communities, altogether 3 new customary law bills of Mizo, Kaipeng and Molsom communities have been placed in the council of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous district council today, on the beginning day of the two day budget session.Presenting the laws in the house, Chief executive Member TTAADC, Radhacharan Debbarma said, “It is indeed a matter of satisfaction that the indigenous communities in order to protect their culture and social customs are trying to document their traditional practices in the form of customary laws. Today, altogether 3 customary law bills of three separate communities Molsom, Mizo and Kaipeng are being placed in the house to get approved by the council”.

Notably, the Molsom customary law bill incorporates 32 chapters and 174 sections, the Kaipeng customary law bill incorporates 25 chapters and 147 sections and the Mizo customary law bill includes 218 sections listed in 22 chapters of social laws. Signifying the customary laws, he said, the customary laws stands for the uniqueness of the community. Traditional systems of land ownership, shifting cultivation (Jhum), social laws, punishments etc. vary from community to community. Approved documented social laws help communities to prevent conflict, he observed.

The CEM also hit out at the state government for not being optimistic while dealing with the customary laws. “Since last two years, a proposal on Reang customary law is stuck which has been forwarded to the state government to get cleared in the state assembly and approval of the governor. Several times, the state government has been asked to clear the matter but no positive attempts are seen yet. Similar is the case of Chakma customary law, the Chakma customary law has been forwarded to the law department for approval but no positive steps have been taken” alleged Radha. He also said that the state government should take these issues for consideration for the betterment of the tribal communities of the state.

Notably, he also informed the house that there were altogether 26 to 27 communities including 19 tribes and their sub-tribes and most of them had their documented form of customary law barring Kaloi, Halam, Chakma, Reang and few more. “We want equilateral development of every community and thus they should have their own laws protected in documented forms. Three more bills have been placed to amend the customary laws of Mog, Murasing and Tripura communities suggested by Governor of Tripura.