Ninety per cent Kalaigaon grazing ground under illegal occupation of suspected Bangladeshis: Mangaldai MP
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Oct 27: Protected grazing reserves are no longer protected with reports of their encroachment by people of suspected tiolities being poured in from everywhere in the State. The latest report of its kind has come from Mangaldai MP Ramen Deka who said that sacred Raju Pukhuri and Rani Pukhuri are also under illegal occupation of people of suspected tiolities.
Protected Grazing Reserves (PGR) and Village Grazing Reserves (VGR) are meant for grazing cattle. They are left uncultivated and uninhabited in the State for cattle – a symbiotic arrangement for man and their domestic animals found in Assam since time immemorial. This arrangement strikes the balance between man and their domestic livestock. However, the balance has been badly disturbed with the encroachment of such lands in the State.
Talking to newsmen at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Bhawan in Guwahati on Friday, MP Deka said: “Ninety per cent of the 9,000-bigha grazing reserve at Kalaigaon LAC under Mangaldai Lok Sabha constituency has been encroached upon by people of suspected tiolities. The local residents of greater Panbari area in Kalaigaon LAC have been under threat from people of suspected tiolities who have encroached upon their grazing reserves. Then Assam chief ministers Bimala Prasad Chaliha and Sarat Chandra Sinha did declared the 9,000-bigha plot of land at Kalaigaon as a grazing ground. However, later then Revenue Minister Siddhith Sarma allotted 1,500 bigha of the grazing land to Gohainpam Somabai Samiti and in 1962 the minister allotted another 500 bighas of land to Vijaylaxmi Samabai. He declared the area as a revenue village. Indigenous people like Boro, Rabha, Santhal, Harijan, masudra and others began to reside at Panbari, Tetelibhanguri, Kodomtola, Borkhat, Morabega, Borbori etc areas. From 1973 onwards people of suspected tiolities started to settle there, posing a threat to the indigenous residents. With their number swelling, people of suspected tiolities started to drive away the locals with intimidation, attack and the like. Ninety per cent of the 9,000-bigha grazing ground has been under illegal occupation of people of suspected tiolities now. The area that was resided by around 500 local families earlier is now left with 60 indigenous families. Though the 500 families fled the area, yet in government records the grazing lands are still under their mes. Worse is that some vested interests are out to make the 60 families to convert into to Christianity. The sacred Raja Pukhuri and Rani Pukhuri have also been occupied forcibly by suspected Bangladeshi Muslims.”
The MP appealed to the Chief Minister to evict the illegal settlers and hand over the land to their owners. “I appeal to you to evict the illegal settlers going in line with Jaati, Maati and Bheti policy of the government and hand them over to local land owners. Failing which, I guess, Kalaigaon LAC well meet the fate of South Salmara LAC in Dhubri district. South Salmara had 33 per cent Hindu voters earlier. However, now the percentage of Hindu voters there is just one per cent. I also request you to set up a camp for security personnel keeping in mind the insecurity the indigenous people have been under. I also demand a judicial inquiry into the circumstances that led the indigenous people to flee the area.”