Thiruvananthapuram: The State Cabinet has given approval to a new tribal package, which among other things envisages an exclusive tribal panchayat for the protection of their rights.
As part of the package, 7693 hectares of reserved forest land would be given to landless tribals and the land identified was suitable for living, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters after the cabinet meeting here.
"It has been decided to create tribal panchayat in tribal belt that would ensure that the land in the area was not transferred without approval of the panchayat body," he said.
Tribals, who were evicted from Muthanga forest area in Waynad district after the tribal agitation in 2003, would be given one acre of land and Rs 2.50 lakh for house construction, he said.
Cases registered against them would be withdrawn, Chandy said.
Chandy also acknowledged the role played by social activist Medha Patkar in ending the tribal agitation during her two-day stay in the city.
Leaders of "Gothra Mahasabha", a tribal outfit, who were on land right agitation in front of the Secretariat for the past several months, welcomed the package and termed it as a "revolutionary" one.
Mahasabha leader C K Janu thanked the government for the benefits extended to tribals and said all their demands were approved by the government. She said they would call off the agitation after getting the letter from the government in this regard by Thursday.