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AIUDF submits memo to Sonowal; unsatisfied with eviction, NRC

Party members of the All India United Democratic Front, Wednesday submitted a memorandum to CM Sarbananda Sonowal putting its position on eviction of genuine Indian citizens in an inhumanitarian way and preparation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The memorandum stated that the new government of Assam is initiating to evict hundreds of indigenous people from the government land in different places violating all norms of the existing practices of the land in a very inhumanitarian way pushing them into great disaster along with their families.

It claimed that the inhabitants are dwelling in the villages since independence or shifted to the places being displaced due to river erosion or other natural calamities. Some of the survivors were having patta land of their own. It is a known fact that, erosion of the river Brahmaputra has played havoc compelling a large number of people to shift their houses time and again. Such people have been compelled to take shelter in the available land that surfaced in the char areas. Only technically these are khas land because the patta land of those people eroded and surfaced again somewhere else. Moreover, those people shifted in the surfaced areas and other government khas land mostly with the knowledge and assistance of the government.

The party is of the opinion that eviction only is not the solution of the problems. Rather eviction shall create encroachment in other areas. However, there should be a uniform policy to be adopted for eviction all over the state. Although there should not be anything against eviction from government land, yet the way eviction is carried, raises questions. Very surprisingly, the evictions are targeted against a particular community of people for unknown reason. Encroachment is not new to Assam. Reports reveal that as much as 23.2 per cent of the total land of Assam are under encroachment raising the quantity to 39, 90, 156 bighas of land. As per documents laid in the Assam Assembly by the government on February 13, 2014, a total of 4, 80,768.20 bighas of land are under encroachment by the neighboring states. While 70 per cent of government khas land in Guwahati city itself is under occupation of encroachers and in most of the cases such land are being settled with the big encroachers. There should not be any discrimination and selective eviction programme.

Since, the eviction at Kaziranga on September 19, 2016, further evictions were carried out in several other places like Sipajhar, Mayang, Fuhuratali, Chandardinga, Hajo, Rakkhasini and others targeting a particular community in a very inhuman manner. Some were evicted with short notice of less than 24 hours whereas there are plenty of other cases for eviction notices by the High Court that is ignored.

The memorandum stated that eviction survivors are left aside without alternative settlement and compensation pushing them to stay under the open sky during severe winters.

Children forget their education after schools and anganwadi centers were demolished. Medical care and drinking water facilities become beyond reach. Source of earning gets disrupted leading to a pitiable condition. The most miserable part being that indigenous people are blamed and branded Bangladeshis by some sections the memorandum resented.

The party sought early publication of the NRC to bring a solution to the burning issues of the foreigner's problem in Assam stating that the present initiative of the Government of Assam is observed to be unsatisfactory.

“The action of the government reflects the intention of delaying the completion of the NRC for unknown reasons. The work forces engaged for the task are often found unhappy for nonpayment of their remuneration and the state share of the working capital reportedly has not yet been released. On the other hand, the government is trying to jeopardize the process imposing new conditions on supporting documents. All these have resulted in the delay in bringing up the final list of the NRC in shape,” the memorandum stated.

The party further suggested that while formulating eviction and settlement policies, all stakeholders must be taken into confidence. Arrangement for settlement of the Internally Displaced Persons due to calamity like, flood and erosion must be taken into account and that no discrimination based on caste, creed or religion is made during eviction. Persons already evicted should be granted resettlement and compensation immediately and land pattas issued to those occupying government lands for long years.

Author info

Syed Miraz Ahmed's picture

Writes, edits and researches. In 2013 he was conferred the Rotary International District 3240 Young Achiever Award for his work in the area of environment and digital journalism. In 2006 he was awarded first in the category of Wildlife Photography by the Department of Environment & Forests and Tourism, Government of Assam.

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