The BJP on Thursday flayed the Pawan Kumar Chamling government alleging forceful acquisition of land after repealing section 5-A of the Land Acquisition Act, 1884, which required a public hearing of the concerned landowners.

“The State government has taken away the fundamental rights of the people (Right to Property) as enshrined in the Constitution and in violation of Article 371 (F) applicable to Sikkim by repealing the relevant provision of the Land Acquisition Act to deny the public an opportunity of hearing to oppose forcible acquisition of their land,” BJP leader Padam Prasad Sharma told reporters here.

The State government should immediately stop the process of arbitrary acquisition of public land and withdraw the notification issued by the Land Revenue and Disaster Management Secretary to do away with a mandatory public hearing, he demanded.

The BJP leader warned that the Chamling government should be prepared a face a similar agitation in Sikkim if it went ahead with forceful acquisition of land from the people.

Mr. Sharma further said that his party will launch a state-wide agitation on the issue and, if need be, challenge the notification with regard to acquisition of land in the court.

The State government had issued a notification for acquisition of about 26 hectares of East Sikkim for the purpose of development of tourism infrastructure by the tourism department last month.

Apparently foreseeing opposition from the public for acquisition of their land, the State government had decided to repeal the relevant provision of the Land Acquisition Act, 1884, to take away the right of the people to get an opportunity of public hearing where they could have opposed the acquisition of their land.

The BJP leader had recently filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005, to obtain the information from the Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department before going public on the issue.