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AGP questions Kokrajhar eviction drive
GUWAHATI, NOV 13 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 14 Nov. 2010 12:28 AM IST
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Assam’s main Opposition party Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) today questioned the motive behind the recent eviction of tribal forest dwellers in western Assam’s Kokrajhar district.
The Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) administration had carried out an eviction drive in Lungshung and Laupani blocks under Chirang reserved forest on October 30-31, during which 1500 houses had been evicted as per government records.
Leader of Opposition in Assam Assembly Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who led an AGP team to the areas yesterday, questioned the real motive behind the eviction drive. “ The administration has claimed that these people were living there illegally since 1996-97, but they have shown us land revenue receipt of 1992-93,’’ he said. He said the evicted people were mostly victims of ethnic clashes in the district in the last decade. ‘’ Even if their villages were not forest villages, the administration should have made arrangements so that they could at least have roof over their heads, “Mahanta said.
He said these people were now living in makeshift houses and even the books of their children were burnt during the eviction drive. “These children cannot appear for their annual examinations now. The government must ensure their right to education and a decent living, “ he added.
A two-time former chief minister, Mahanta maintained that the local residents had linked the eviction drive and recent massacre of non-tribal people by NDFB militants. ‘’ They fear that it might be a ploy to force out all non-Bodo tribal people from BTC areas, but they are in such panic that they do not say anything openly, ‘’ he added. Mahanta demanded rehabilitation and proper security for the displaced people.

 
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