Amchang eviction drive draws flak from activists

400 families moved from wildlife sanctuary

Published - November 28, 2017 10:47 pm IST - Kolkata

Stiff resistance:  A woman puts herself in harm’s way while protesting against the demolition drive inside the Amchang Wildlife Sactuary in Assam.

Stiff resistance: A woman puts herself in harm’s way while protesting against the demolition drive inside the Amchang Wildlife Sactuary in Assam.

In a large scale eviction drive in the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary in Guwahati in Assam, more than 400 families were evicted by police and Forest Department officials.

The drive has generated severe discontent among the members of the Mishing tribe, which accused the State Government of resorting to “anti-people policies.”

Local rights activists alleged that about 15 people were injured during the eviction drive as police resorted to large scale firing of rubber bullets and tear gas shells as well as baton charge.

Commissioner of Police of Guwahati Hiren Chandra Nath denied the allegations.

The eviction order was issued by Gauhati High Court during a suo motu public interest litigation in 2013.

“Police and Forest Department officials evicted 408 families from the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary in Guwahati.

Fifteen people were injured due to indiscriminate baton charge and rubber bullet firing by police and four are in a critical condition,” local rights activist Ashraful Hussain told The Hindu .

“The protest was totally peaceful and it was police who resorted to excessive use of force. The Assam government is claiming that the eviction drive was being conducted for the sake of preservation of wildlife, but it is nothing but shameless oppression of the poor,” said Priti Raj Doley, a member of the Mishing tribe and a leader of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity.

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