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Bhainse ki ladaai me . . .

. . . Jhakadi ki barbaadi The islanders, especially those from N&M Andaman were surprised by heightened presence of Govt Officials fortified with Police in their area, on Dec 8th 2010. The jinx soon broke when the officials zeroed into individual shops serving GO informing that since their shop falls within the Buffer Zone, they need to close their shops in compliance with Hon’ble Supreme Court Order dated 03/12/2010. It is really a nightmare for them because the GO says they need to close their shops by tomorrow ie., 9th or face action.

None of the affected parties has been given time, not even to seek redress in the court of law; Everybody is shell shocked.

Anger started brewing, there is large scale dissent among

courtesy Jessy John/www.andamani.com/Dec 11, 2010)

the islanders who were settled in this part of the country by

within 100 m of Raj Nivas, then there is a ward in GB Pant

Govt of India under various colonization schemes. Being a

Hospital which is declared a tribal reserve.

democratic country, its citizens are free to exercise their right to life and livelihood. But the GO served upon them violated such legitimate right guaranteed by Constitution of India. By evening it came to the light that Buffer Zone vide Notification # 243 dated 30/11/2007 created by the Administrator in

exercise of the powers conferred upon him by "The Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Amendment Regulation, 2010" ex-post-facto, had brought their village under the ambit of the notification. The amendment regulation (If it really exist, because I could find only an unsigned draft of the regulation in the net) empowers the Administrator to notify any area adjacent to reserved area as Buffer Zone. The crux of the matter is under what basis the 5Km radius from Constance Bay in South Andaman to Lewis Inlet Bay in Middle Andaman has been notified as Buffer Zone. Whereas history tells us that the first battle between the Indigenous tribe and British was fought at Aberdeen - popularly known as “The Battle of Aberdeen” hence Buffer Zone if at all necessary, should start right from Aberdeen Village. Further there is a tribal reserve “Adi Basera” (Notification # 1-467/86-TW dated 02/11/1989;

Ironically Buffer Zone is implemented ignoring above tribal reserves & history, as a knee-jerk reaction to the suit between A&N Adminstration and M/S Barefoot Pvt Ltd in the Honble Supreme Court. But the question is can the Administration jeopardize the lives of lakhs of Islanders for the sake of defending a case? Is it not necessary to discuss Buffer Zone with the stakeholders who are going to get affected before implementation? This is clear violation of human rights, unfair and against principles of natural justice. When the epitome of administration could be excluded from the ambit of the notification, will it be unjustified to request the administrator to use the same wisdom to exclude settled revenue villages from the ambit of draconian Buffer Zone. With due regards, I want to remind the Hon’ble LG that not only Tribals, you are responsible to protect the lives of the Non tribal Islanders as well. I differ on the Buffer Zone Notification in its present shape, still I invest my confidence in you and your caliber to provide people centric governance. Don’t break our confidence. Debkumar Bhadra Shore Point, Bambooflat, S Andaman, email debkumar_bhadra@yahoo.com


Implementation of Buffer Zone, a kneejerk reaction