Sonitpur dist admin carries out eviction drive in riverine area, 400 more families driven out

House of 400 ‘doubtful citizens” are broken & smashed, using excavator

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Guwahati, February 11: The Sonitpur district administration has evicted 400 ‘doubtful’ families from Mokua and Siruani Chapori in Sonitpur district on February 10, 2020. The eviction drive was carried out by the Sonitpur district administration with the help a contingent of 500 police and paramilitary personnel. The eviction drive was carried out under the leadership of additional Superintendent of police, Sonitpur District, Nomal Mahato, circle officer (Tezpur) pankaj Sharma, circle officer (Naduar) Akashdeep Kakati, ADC Nityananda Chetia and DSP, Sonitpur, Rashmirekha Sharma. The personnel from district administration had cracked down the houses of those families and forced them to leave their homes. It may be mentioned that, November 4 and 5, 2019 the administration evicted 426 “doubtful” families from Laletapu, Lungibazar, Gotaimari, Chakighat and Dighali Chapori in Sootea constituency, who were allegedly occupying the government land. After cracking and ruining their houses by the administration, these people have been shifted to Mokua and Siruani Chapori to take shelter. The Sonitpur district administration had reportedly sent repeated notices to the “doubtful” citizens, but they did not leave. Thereafter, the administration destroyed all houses, makeshifts and their luggage are taken to Jamuguri police station. The Additional police superintendent Nomal Mahato said, “we will not allow to occupy the government’s land at any cost, we will use our extreme power to make this land encroachment free. We are evicting these people in various areas after receiving complaint from the local residents. On the basis of complaints from the local people, we have evicted 426 families.” The circle officer of Tezpur Mr Pankaj Sharma said that, “we have already identified these illegal encroachers. They can go to their own place, from the place they had come.” The MLA of Sootea constituency, Padma Hazarika said that, “we can’t further allow any Assamese youth to be martyred in my constituency. Seven Assamese youths were brutally killed by the ‘doubtful citizens’ in this Chapori (riverine area) in 1983. We can’t forget that incident. The soul of the martyrs will live in peace only after we evict these doubtful people from the riverine areas. Now we have resolved to evict these people from this land. We will protect this land, free it of all evictions. We will have to rehabilitee the unemployed Assamese youth in these areas to access agricultural farms. Various government institutions will also be established in these areas.”

The evicted people have different narratives, however. They have alleged that they have been evicted from these areas illegally. They have stated that, though they are not voters of these areas they are voter of various nearby constituencies like Rangapara, Tezpur, Nagaon, Rupohihat, Dhing and Dalgaon. They are residents of the riverine areas affected by erosion and have come here to these areas for their livelihood. They have borrowed the land from local people and some are having inherent properties here.

(Courtesy: Asomiya Pratidin, February 11, 2020; translated by Kalyanee Boruah)     

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