Massive protest erupted in some parts of Assam after a massive eviction drive was launched in Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary. The eviction drive was launched by the Kamrup district administration and forest department.
The drive was launched as per the order of Gauhati High Court. The move was denounced by various tribal organizations. The Coordination Committee of Tribal Organisations in Assam (CCTOA) has called for a 12-hour dawn-dust bandh in Assam on Wednesday in protest against the eviction and demanding rehabilitation of hapless evicted people.
Although, the drive have been stopped due to school examinations and growing cold in the region. More than 700 families from three places in Amsang — Yusufnagar, Nabajyotinagar and Kangkannagar were affected due to this drive.
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.
Undemocratic Eviction drive on Indegenous people in Amchang Forest in Assam. No shelter , No food , No compansations, Children's are deprive to read and sit in exams . #Humanity butchered by bulldozers .@amnesty @amnestyusa @amnestypress @AmnestyIndy @NHRCOFINDIA pic.twitter.com/KKo8KJGzgX
— Jiten Borgohain (@jiten_borgohain) November 29, 2017
The eviction drive has also created political turmoil in Assam. The alliance partner of the BJP-led government in Assam, Gana Shakti slammed the decision and said that they feel ashamed to be part of this government.
“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.
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.
According to the reports, he also asked the government to submit an affidavit regarding the suspension of the drive and listed the matter for hearing on Thursday.
Assam Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma 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.