Assam

Assam: Govt to carry out eviction drive in Nagaon

The exercise will be carried out in and around Batadrava Than, the sacred birthplace of Srimanta Sankardeva, from December 19 and is likely to continue for several days, Nagaon Superintendent of Police Leena Doley told PTI.

GUWAHATI- The Assam government is all set to carry out a major eviction drive in 1,200 bighas (nearly 397 acres) of land from alleged encroachment in Nagaon district, a senior official said on Friday.

The exercise will be carried out in and around Batadrava Than, the sacred birthplace of Srimanta Sankardeva, from December 19 and is likely to continue for several days, Nagaon Superintendent of Police Leena Doley told PTI.

“All necessary formalities have been completed. We conducted a flag march in the area on Wednesday night,” she said and declined to share further details.

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Official sources said that over 700 police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in the greater Batadrava area and mobilisation of forces have been taking place for the last 3-4 days.

“The eviction will take place in around 1,200 bighas of land at various villages under the Dhing revenue circle. The administration has publicly announced about the eviction drive and asked the occupants to leave the area after taking their belongings,” a source told PTI.

As a part of precautionary measure, the state government has directed the nearby Morigaon district administration to be on alert to cooperate in the eviction drive, he added.

“The Batadrava Than Management Committee has welcomed the said eviction drive. On the other hand, there is an outcry among the residents of the area after hearing the announcement of the eviction drive,” he said.

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District administration officials claimed that notices were sent to around 1,000 alleged encroacher families during October, asking them to clear the land.

The civil administration and police have been taking all necessary measures to materialise the eviction drive peacefully without any untoward incident, another official said.

“The operation will be led by DIG of Central Range of Assam Police, Satya Raj Hazarika, in association with civil administration,” he added.

On September 12, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told the Assam Assembly that a total of 4,449 families have been evicted across the state for alleged encroachment since the BJP-led government took charge for the second time in May last year.

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Sarma had said that the government did not carry out any investigation on the citizenship of evicted families to find out if they were Indian nationals or foreigners.

He had further stated that the government was also “not aware” if the families, who encroached upon the government land, were homeless people due to erosion, a claim that most of such victims usually make.

The chief minister had said that rights like ‘Shelter over Head’ were available only for legal occupation and right to property is not a fundamental right.

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