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Agraria Reform Priority Locations (Part-4)

The Process of Land Redistribution at Curanongko is Still Undecided at Jember BPN

Jember – If a question was raised to Curanongko villagers on how they would describe Jember  Office of National Land Agency (BPN), they probably will describe them as False Hope Givers. How could they not? Their land redistribution process, which had already achieved on measurement plan in 2011, was stopped without any clear explanation until today. Though on May 25th, 2011 the villagers have already paid the fee concerning land redistribution under BPN requirements.

The villagers had already paid Rp 32,970,000 out of total Rp. 68,500,000 independently. This was not included the manufacture and installation of border markings, consumption cost, accommodation cost, and transportation cost of measurement officers. Half of the payment was decided considering the villagers’ request for a relief over measurement fee.

On July 10th, 2015, National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM) also gave recommendation to the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning (ATR) to immediately redistributing the disputed land to members of an organization called Struggling Peasant Union (SIPER), that including the land in Curahtakir village.

Up until this moment, there has not yet any decision on the exact time of the redistribution to be conducted. Geographically, Curanongko village is located to the south of Jember District. It is part of Tampurejo Subdistrict and on the area of Meru Betiri National Park. Its population reaches 422,000 (eds.: in 2015). Today, 32 percent of the area is controlled by Nusantara Plantation Inc. (PTPN) XII, and 21 percent of it covers villagers housing. The villagers mainly live on forest products and harvest on barely there agricultural land.

Before independence era, the disputed land had already been inhabited by people who had agricultural tradition on the land. In Soeharto regime, in 1965-1966, there was an incident of land grabbing, engaged by Golongan Karya party (Golkar) in coordination with military force. The villagers were accused to have relation with Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), which was resulted in their eviction from the land. The 274.375 hectares of land was then assigned to be controlled by PTPN XXVI, which was then changed into PTPN XII.

In 1983, part of the land, as much as 25 hectares, was redistributed to the villagers under Governor Decree No. 23/555.8/1983. In mid 1998, after the collapse of Soeharto regime, on September 30th, the land was occupied and cultivated by 1,090 villagers. They covered 125.05 hectares of land, or around third of total land controlled by PTPN XII.

The villagers were occupied part of the land which was abandoned. It has already unattended by the plantation, therefore automatically the Cultivation Right could not be applied there (eds.: Government Regulation No. 40 of 1996). It was strengthened by Head of Jember Decree No. 590/693/436.010/2005 dated on January 1st, 2005 which requested the disputed land to be taken out of Cultivation Right request applied by PTPN XII and to be given out to Curahnongko villagers.

On April 26th, 2006, Jember land office facilitated a meeting to discuss on the continuation of the disputed land. The meeting was attended by PMP Section Head of East Java BPN, Jember regional government, head of Tempurejo subdistrict, head of Curahnongko village, Director of PTPN XII, administrator of Kalisanen Field, and head of SIPER from Curahnongko village. It was resulted in several points, which were: first, PTPN XII would install all border markings and together with Curahnongko villagers would identify objects of the disputed land; second, the unproblematic land would immediately applied to be measured for Cultivation Right; and lastly, the object out of the disputed land would be scheduled to be resolved.

The Curahnongko villagers have already cultivated the land for eighteen years. Throughout the period, they had established an organization called Struggling Peasant Union (SIPER) in order to assist them in their struggle. Looking back in the history, the Cultivation Right acquirement had already full of problem in the beginning. PTPN XII took over the land by accusing villagers as part of PKI. Moreover, its compensation process has not yet fulfilled.

Ideally, considering the dispute development and social and legal facts available, the land should already be distributed to the villagers. However, there has not yet any follow-up taken by Jember BPN concerning the issue above. KPA urges redistribution of the land, so that the villagers can achieve prosperity as it was stated as Indonesian people ideals of independence.

To be continued. . .

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