The eviction drive carried on Monday at 77,420 bighas of encroached land in Sipajhar proved that the earlier statement made by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on the floor of Assam Assembly that these areas have been successfully evicted was a lie, claimed Upamanyu Hazarika, Convener of Prabrajan Virodhi Manch.
Hazarika in a press statement said that it is unfortunate that on such a crucial issue of indigenous identity and survival, a lie should have been perpetuated, because of which the local indigenous were made to suffer as their lands were acquired for agriculture project, the encroachers remaining undisturbed.
Three demands were made by the local indigenous inhabitants of 4 panchayats ( Garukhuti, Sanowa, Ganesh Kowari and Baznapathar) in a representation submitted on September 8, 2021 that the encroachment of 77,420 bighas should be actually cleared ( earlier eviction was carried out over 5 times, with no results), such land recovered from encroachment should be handed over to them to resume agricultural and livestock activities and finally the proposed agricultural project should include all the inhabitants of the 4 gaon panchayats, the statement said.
"Our leaders including Chief Minister have a propensity to make false promises and assertions. The Chairman of the Garukhuti project Sootea MLA Padma Hazarika beats his own drum of serving people through agricultural project Kanyaka in his constituency. In reality it's his own business enterprise, the truth being revealed in his election affidavit where he and his wife are shown as owners of over 750 bighas land of the Kanyaka business," Hazarika stated.
The people of Sipajhar should keep a strict scrutiny over the eviction operations and agricultural project to ensure that it is actually in the interest of the local indigenous people, he added.