‘Foreigners will not get land at the expense of indigenous population'

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday announced that a new committee would soon be formed to frame a land policy for the entire State.

The policy would incorporate various issues relating to land resettlement for the landless, impoverished and marginalised people and those affected by floods and erosion, Mr. Gogoi said.

He said his government would not allow any foreigner to acquire land patta at the expense of the indigenous population, whose interests, he maintained, it always had.

Bandh

The Chief Minister's announcement came on a day that witnessed a 12-hour bandh called by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), protesting the arrest of the organisation's secretary and RTI activist Akhil Gogoi and demanding his unconditional release.

The bandh affected life in different parts of the State. While offices remained closed, it being a fourth Saturday, long distance private buses were off the roads as KMSS supporters staged a blockade on National Highway 37. Shops and other businesses downed their shutters in most parts of the State.

Akhil Gogoi was arrested on Friday in connection with the outbreak of violence at an anti-eviction rally in Dispur on Wednesday. It demanded a halt to the eviction of the settlers in the city's hill areas. He was remanded in police custody for three days.