Assam suspends eviction drive due to school exams, winter

Nov 30, 2017, 11:35 IST |

Protests opposing the eviction drive in Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary near here continued to rock different parts of Assam on Wednesday even as the state government suspended the drive in view of school examinations and the weather getting colder

Guwahati: Protests opposing the eviction drive in Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary near here continued to rock different parts of Assam on Wednesday even as the state government suspended the drive in view of school examinations and the weather getting colder.The drive, which started on Monday, evicted over 700 families from three places in Amsang -- Yusufnagar, Nabajyotinagar and Kangkannagar.

Assam suspends eviction drive due to school exams, winter

While some of the evicted people, who had lost their houses and properties in Amchang since Monday, left the place, others, including women and children, are still there expecting that the government will consider their appeal for rehabilitation.

On Wednesday, Devajit Saikia, Assam's Additional Advocate General, as per Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal's direction, made a verbal submission before Gauhati High Court's Chief Justice, Justice Ajit Singh, regarding suspension of eviction drive at Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary.

He informed Justice Singh that as school examinations are going on and winter is intensifying, the government has to think over the eviction drive.

The Chief Minister is also considering the issue of rehabilitation of the evicted people and finalization of modalities for this would take some time, he added.

The Chief Justice allowed the government to suspend the drive but directed it to continue the same against commercial establishments. He also asked the government to submit an affidavit regarding the suspension of the drive and listed the matter for hearing on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the eviction drive has drawn flak from several sections including the alliance partner of the BJP-led government in Assam, Gana Shakti.

"I am ashamed to be a part of the government. The government is trying to evict the indigenous people of the state for the sake of some corporate houses, who also has encroached forest lands of Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary," said Gana Shakti legislator from Jonai constituency, Bhuban Pegu.

Blaming it on the Forest Department, he said the department is trying to change the boundary of the sanctuary for the sake of corporate houses.

"The government must rehabilitate all the evicted people in the same place from where they have been evicted failing which this government is bound to suffer," he said.

Assam Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma, however, said that the government will think of rehabilitating some of the evicted people from Amchang, who had settled there after being hit by floods and erosion in different parts of the state.

"The families who can prove that they were affected by flood and erosion in the past and settled in Amchang due to flood and erosion will be considered. But there are people who had bought land in Amchang Sanctuary and there cannot be rehabilitation for them," she said.

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