BY OUR BUREAU
GUWAHATI/DIMORIA, Aug 17: Tension continues to prevail at Hatimuria area under Mayong Revenue Circle in Morigaon district over land encroachment with indigenous people there alleging that encroachers have refused to vacate the land they forcibly occupied and built thatched huts upon, despite intervention by the district administration.
The Morigaon district administration has directed the encroachers at Hatimuria area to vacate the land and resettle in some other areas, a proposal the latter have refused to accept. The encroachers, who are primarily from Darrang district’s char areas and affected by land erosion, have refused to budge and said they would not vacate the area where they are currently settled.
On August 14 last at Hatimuria, there was a confrontation between indigenous people and encroachers over fencing of land and the situation soon took an ugly turn. Encroachers reportedly bashed-up a group of local people who allege that “they are not safe in their own homeland” and expressed their utter dissatisfaction over the role being played by the district administration in tackling the situation. The indigenous people of Hatimuria area alleged that despite requests through letters, the district administration has remained a mute spectator.
The Hatimuria inhabitants said that a few years back, around 50 erosion-hit families from other parts of Morigaon district and Darrang district were allowed by the indigenous people to temporarily live at the village on condition that they would vacate the land when flood situation in their areas improved.
The indigenous people further alleged that the number of these refugee families at Hatimuria increased from 50 to 500 in the last few years while their settlement has been expanding fast. “There may be many illegal Bangladeshis with these encroachers. It’s the duty of the district administration to keep tabs on these suspected tiols,” said a local resident on the condition of anonymity.
On Wednesday, however, a few families belonging to Morigaon district agreed to vacate the land after the directive given by the district administration, but those who are from Darrang refused to comply.
In the last day of the budget session of the State Assembly, the land encroachment issued rocked the House. This is not an issue which is relevant to Hatimuria, but to many parts of the State which are facing rampant land encroachment by suspected foreign tiols. The problem seems to be getting bigger with each passing day due to lack of prompt action by district administrations concerned.