Rowmari, a village located 170 km from Assam's capital city of Guwahati, is in the centre of a controversy following allotment of some 485 hectares of its land to Patanali Ayurved, managed by Baba Ramdev. The village is located in Chirang district of Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD).The Bodoland Territorial Council which administers BTAD, home to plains tribes (mainly the Bodos), has made the allotment for setting up a yogpith. BTAD falls under 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution for administering tribal areas of four northeastern states, including Assam. Violence, based on identity, ethnicity, language, religion and land has kept the region on the boil for the past few decades. BTC administration as well as Patanjali claim that the proposed yogpith will help create jobs for local people and explore the possibilities of promoting animal husbandry and medicinal plants in Assam. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is reported to have assured that under his "ease of doing business" plan, land will be swiftly handed over to Patanjali.
Civil society organizations and affected residents who have been opposing the allotment since its announcement in 2015, say this is a clear case of illegal land grab in a Sixth Schedule area, where nontribals from outside the region have no right to purchase land. The United Liberation Front of Assam or ULFA (I), a secessionist armed group which is fighting an armed battle with Indian state for Assam's independence, alleges that Ramdev wants the land to set up a factory of communal Aryan politics of the RSS here in the name of Patanjali Trust". A number of local organisations like All Bodo Students' Union, All BTC Minority Students' Union, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and All Assam Minority Students' Union are also opposing the land allotment. All Adivasi Student Association of Assam has threatened that until and unless displaced Adivasis are rehabilitated, such land transfers wouldn't be allowed.
BTC administration has given a bizarre logic for the land allotment. The land is being allotted to Patanjali so that the same would not be encroached by illegal immigrants, BTC has said, according to news reports. Prodom Bodo of All Bodo Students' Union issued a press statement, saying the allotted area includes legally owned land of Bodos, Rajbongshis and some Muslims. In addition, some governmentowned plots have been handed over. But no compensation has been paid to the land owners yet. In fact, many owners do not know that their land has been handed over, says Prodom.
The advisor of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti is in judicial custody for protesting the allotment. The ongoing agitation against the land allotment is expected to gain momentum in the near future.
Type of Land
Private and Common
Type of Common Land
Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)
Total investment involved (in Crores):
Type of investment:
Land Area Affected