HOWRAGHAT/DIPHU: Continuing with the eviction of alleged illegal Bangladeshi settlers from the Lankaijan Reserve Forest, the Land Revenue department and the Forest department of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, aided by police and Executive Magistrate, demolished more than 600 illegal structures on Monday.
The reserve forest land is located within the general area of Lankai Jan, around 30 km from the headquarter town of Diphu. The whole area has been allegedly encroached upon by doubtful Bangladeshi nationals who are utilizing the occupied land for agricultural purpose. The vast reserve forest area is in the areas of Karbi Anglong autonomous district bordering Hojai district of Assam. On average, each family occupied more than 40 bighas of land without any legal document.
The eviction process began on Saturday and about 1,200 acres of land was cleared on Monday, which is almost 80 per cent of the occupied land.
According to the evicted people, they had shifted to Lankaijan from Dhubori, Saigon, Mairabari and Nagaon and occupied the land by paying the local village headman. However, they could not produce any document in support of their claim.
The eviction, which began around 7 am on Monday, engaged eight excavators and around 500 forest officials. The operation continued up to Pampi Nala which is the official border between the two districts. With the backing of a strong detachment of 500 police and paramilitary personnel, the district administration could demolish around 600 houses, in addition to 35 constructions on Saturday, out of the demarcated 1,016 houses. Thousands of evicted persons who could not produce any legal document alleged that the drive was politically motivated. A section also claimed that they had registered their names in the NRC on the basis of their illegally occupied land.
“In today’s operation, officially we have demolished 554 houses without any resistance from the encroachers. The exact extent of land cleared is yet to be assessed. However, it is an enormous proportion of area. In order to prevent any further intrusion, fixed police picket has been positioned. Besides, constant police patrolling will ensure any breach of peace in the area,” said Superintendent of Police Gaurav Upadhyay to this correspondent over phone.
“Eviction will continue until the whole land is cleared from the illegal occupiers. The entire part officially belongs to the Karbi Anglong autonomous district and we are duty bound to protect our land,” said Amarsing Tisso, Executive Member in-charge of Land Revenue department, Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council.
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