Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Freedom Minorities

Yet another eviction drive in Assam

Authorities will begin to remove people from the reserve forest in Hojai

Sabrangindia 08 Nov 2021

eviction driveImage: www.sentinelassam.com

Assam government is all set to evict nearly 3,000 people living in over 1,000 hectares of land in the Lumding Reserve Forest in Hojai district. The drive begins Monday November 8, several weeks after evictions had come to a virtual stand-still in Assam after the brutal killing of two people in police firing in Gorukhuti in Darrang on September 23.

Hojai divisional forest officer Guanadeep Das told the Times of India, “There are around 3,000 people living on the 1,410 hectares of land in the reserve forest,” adding that the first phase of the eviction drive will take place on Monday and Tuesday covering approximately 500 hectares of land. The total area of the Lumding Reserve Forest is 22,403 hectares.

The new eviction drive comes in wake of a September 14 order by the Gauhati High Court that had taken note of the state government’s plan to evict “encroachers” from the forest area. The court recorded, “It has been stated that a large number of forest area have been encroached upon by unauthorised persons from various places. In this regard, the State Government also has filed an affidavit, which has acknowledged the existence of such large area of forest land being encroached upon to the extent of 1.10 hectares of land under the Lumding Reserve Forest.” It further recorded, “In the action plan prepared by the State authority under the first phase of eviction, which will last for 5 days, it will be undertaken during October 2021 to November 2021 and in 2nd phase, which will last for 4 days, it will be undertaken during November 2021 to December 2021 and under the 3rd phase which will last for 5 days, will be conducted during January 2022 to February 2022.”

The entire order may be read here:

Now that the protests over the Gorukhuti police firing appear to have dissipated, the state government is resuming evictions.

On Friday, November 5, Assam Special DGP (law and order) G. P Singh visited the families living on forest land to urge them to leave on their own. He told The Shillong Times, “People who have settled inside the reserve forest (for farming) should leave voluntarily as the area belongs to the forest department. About 80 percent of the settlers have their own homes in other places…so they should vacate the area.” However, he also indicated that the administration was prepared in case the families refused to budge. “We want people who have settled here for farming activities to leave the reserve forest area on their own. However, subsequently if they do not vacate the area, we will have to carry out the eviction drive in a phased manner,” he said.

However, the administration is once again going in prepared to quell any resistance with force. TOI reports that as many as 1,000 police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel have been deployed to ensure the first phase of evictions passes smoothly. However, these numbers appear to be excessive given how few families are being evicted in this phase. Hojai deputy commissioner Anupam Choudhary told TOI last week, “A total of 670 families had settled here and were engaged in cultivation. We have counselled the people over the last couple of days. Now less than 1 percent families are there who too will leave the place by Monday.”

Now, if that is the case then why is the state government deploying such a large number of police and paramilitary personnel?

Related:

Evicted families will be rehabilitated only if name appears in NRC: Assam Gov’t to Gauhati HC

EXCLUSIVE: Three infants from evicted families die in Assam

Photo Feature: Evicted villagers struggle to rebuild lives in Dhalpur

Finally, FIRs filed in Dhalpur firing death cases

Yet another eviction drive in Assam

Authorities will begin to remove people from the reserve forest in Hojai

eviction driveImage: www.sentinelassam.com

Assam government is all set to evict nearly 3,000 people living in over 1,000 hectares of land in the Lumding Reserve Forest in Hojai district. The drive begins Monday November 8, several weeks after evictions had come to a virtual stand-still in Assam after the brutal killing of two people in police firing in Gorukhuti in Darrang on September 23.

Hojai divisional forest officer Guanadeep Das told the Times of India, “There are around 3,000 people living on the 1,410 hectares of land in the reserve forest,” adding that the first phase of the eviction drive will take place on Monday and Tuesday covering approximately 500 hectares of land. The total area of the Lumding Reserve Forest is 22,403 hectares.

The new eviction drive comes in wake of a September 14 order by the Gauhati High Court that had taken note of the state government’s plan to evict “encroachers” from the forest area. The court recorded, “It has been stated that a large number of forest area have been encroached upon by unauthorised persons from various places. In this regard, the State Government also has filed an affidavit, which has acknowledged the existence of such large area of forest land being encroached upon to the extent of 1.10 hectares of land under the Lumding Reserve Forest.” It further recorded, “In the action plan prepared by the State authority under the first phase of eviction, which will last for 5 days, it will be undertaken during October 2021 to November 2021 and in 2nd phase, which will last for 4 days, it will be undertaken during November 2021 to December 2021 and under the 3rd phase which will last for 5 days, will be conducted during January 2022 to February 2022.”

The entire order may be read here:

Now that the protests over the Gorukhuti police firing appear to have dissipated, the state government is resuming evictions.

On Friday, November 5, Assam Special DGP (law and order) G. P Singh visited the families living on forest land to urge them to leave on their own. He told The Shillong Times, “People who have settled inside the reserve forest (for farming) should leave voluntarily as the area belongs to the forest department. About 80 percent of the settlers have their own homes in other places…so they should vacate the area.” However, he also indicated that the administration was prepared in case the families refused to budge. “We want people who have settled here for farming activities to leave the reserve forest area on their own. However, subsequently if they do not vacate the area, we will have to carry out the eviction drive in a phased manner,” he said.

However, the administration is once again going in prepared to quell any resistance with force. TOI reports that as many as 1,000 police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel have been deployed to ensure the first phase of evictions passes smoothly. However, these numbers appear to be excessive given how few families are being evicted in this phase. Hojai deputy commissioner Anupam Choudhary told TOI last week, “A total of 670 families had settled here and were engaged in cultivation. We have counselled the people over the last couple of days. Now less than 1 percent families are there who too will leave the place by Monday.”

Now, if that is the case then why is the state government deploying such a large number of police and paramilitary personnel?

Related:

Evicted families will be rehabilitated only if name appears in NRC: Assam Gov’t to Gauhati HC

EXCLUSIVE: Three infants from evicted families die in Assam

Photo Feature: Evicted villagers struggle to rebuild lives in Dhalpur

Finally, FIRs filed in Dhalpur firing death cases

Related Articles

Communalism

How Hate has laced the Gujarat 2022 Election Campaign

From the Assam chief minister, Himanta Biswas Sarma to his UP counterpart, Ajay Bisht a la Adityanath and actor Paresh Rawal, the actor, hate speech is clearly the BJP’s preferred campaign weapon; speeches are likely to worsen after the first phase

Communalism

How Hate has laced the Gujarat 2022 Election Campaign

From the Assam chief minister, Himanta Biswas Sarma to his UP counterpart, Ajay Bisht a la Adityanath and actor Paresh Rawal, the actor, hate speech is clearly the BJP’s preferred campaign weapon; speeches are likely to worsen after the first phase


Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

Communalism

Hate Speech is rampant while Free speech is criminalised | Teesta Setalvad

Eminent speakers like Justice Anjana Prakash, Saba Naqvi expressed grave concerns over the draconian laws, used to put down the struggles of the labouring masses and the manner in which the law enforcement have been taking down students, academicians, political and human rights activists, artists, Dalits, Muslims and tribal people.

Communalism

Hate Speech is rampant while Free speech is criminalised | Teesta Setalvad

Eminent speakers like Justice Anjana Prakash, Saba Naqvi expressed grave concerns over the draconian laws, used to put down the struggles of the labouring masses and the manner in which the law enforcement have been taking down students, academicians, political and human rights activists, artists, Dalits, Muslims and tribal people.

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives