MANGALDAI: The encroachment on government land or in religious places is quite a common practice in Assam, particularly if the land is in the char area of River Brahmaputra. Due to lack of policy of the government, it becomes a herculean task to evict these encroachers. But have you ever heard that the encroachers have, on their own will, withdrawn their possession or occupation from the encroached land which belongs to a pre-historic Shiva Temple! This happened in Darrang district that, too on the day of worldwide celebration of the World Environment Day. Superintendent of Police of Darrang, Er Sushanta Biswa Sarma deserves the credit for this unique initiative of clearing a plot of land measuring about 70 bighas from encroachment.
The pre-historic Shiva Temple with a number of caves at Dhalpur Hill under Sipajhar Revenue Circle in Darrang district has been regarded as one of the oldest Shiva temples in the country. According to the revenue department, a total area of 180 bighas of land have been allotted in the name of the Shiva Temple at village Dhalpur No. 1 vide dag number 1 of Sipajhar Revenue Circle. According to mythology, the second of the Pandavas, Bhim had spent his tenure of exile in Dhalpur hill. However, the land reserved for the Shiva Temple has frequently been encroached upon by encroachers. On January 11, the administration led by Circle Officer of Sipajhar Revenue Circle, Nandan Bhagawati conducted an eviction drive to evict 45 families of encroachers. However, the organized encroachers re-encroached the plot of land allotted in the name of the historic Shiva Temple immediately after the eviction drive.
Er Sushanta Biswa Sarma, immediately after taking over as the Superintendent of Police in Darrang, made a visit to the Shiva Temple along with Circle Officer Nandan Bhagawati and on seeing the large-scale encroachment of the temple land, asked the encroachers to clear the land within three days on their own accord. Amidst the World Environment Day celebration on Saturday, a total number of 25 families of encroachers since morning started shifting their dwelling houses from the encroached land and made the temple land free from encroachment.
Various social organizations, including Mangaldai Media Circle, Darrang District unit of AASU and AJYCP and people of the locality have highly appreciated the prompt initiative of Superintendent of Police Er Sushanta Biswa Sarma and also demanded the district administration to make all the encroached Professional Grazing Reserves (PGR) and Village Grazing Reserve (VGR) and government land free from the encroachment.