GBs have more roles to play for betterment of society: Lokhande

ITANAGAR, Aug 30: Planning Commissioner Prashant S Lokhande said that the gaon buras and buris (GB), apart from resolving petty disputes, have many more roles to play for the betterment of the society.

Emphasizing the important role played by the GBs in delivering justice at all levels, Lokhande urged them to pay attention to the gender aspects. He also said that the GBs can play a crucial role in fighting corruption in the society.

Lokhande was speaking on the GB institution in Arunachal, its present scenario and the roles and responsibilities of the GBs during a virtual consultative meeting on legal literacy of the GBs, organized by the Arunachal Pradesh Legal Services Authority (APSLSA) on Sunday.

Highlighting the roles and responsibilities of the GBs, Lower Subansiri DC Swetika Sachan urged them to strictly follow the rules and regulations of the Assam Frontier Regulation (AFR) of 1945.

Itanagar Capital Region SP Tumme Amo spoke on the importance of synergy between the GBs and the police.

“The GBs are like police in areas where there is no police station,” Amo said, and requested the GBs to cooperate with the police in maintaining law and order.

District & Session Judge (Pasighat) Budi Habung highlighted the changing roles and responsibilities of the GBs after the establishment of the judiciary in the state.

He emphasized the need to conduct more training programmes for the GBs to educate them about their powers and functions. Habung opined that the GBs should “practice fair approach while resolving disputes.”

APWWS secretary Kani Nada Maling and Prof Jumyir Basar from RGU’s Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies spoke on the challenges to the GB institution and how they can be addressed.

Feedbacks and suggestions were received from the GBs.

Highlighting the challenges they are facing in exercising their powers due to limited knowledge, the GBs emphasized the need for organizing more training programmes, especially on the roles of the GBs under the AFR, 1945, at the village and circle levels.

Earlier, APSLSA Member Secretary Jaweplu Chai highlighted the initiatives taken by the state authority regarding legal literacy training for the GBs. She informed that the state authority has conducted training for 484 GBs, covering 22 districts, under the project ‘Training of gaon buras and buris, the traditional village council system of Arunachal Pradesh’.

Law and Judicial Deputy Director Dani Belo also spoke.

Apart from GBs from 14 districts, judicial officers and representatives of the DCs from various districts attended the meeting.

Organized in collaboration with the justice department of the law & justice ministry, under the Access to Justice North East and Jammu &Kashmir (A2J NEJK) project, the meeting’s main objectives were to “share the initiatives taken by the APSLSA with regards to training for the GBs, record best practices and success stories from the GBs on legal empowerment, and to understand various gaps in legal literacy from various personnel of GBs institution to ensure effective roles of GBs in the community,” according to an APSLSA release.