Other States

Encroached land in Assam more than size of Goa, says CM

Villagers protesting against an eviction drive in Darrang district on September 23, 2021   | Photo Credit: PTI

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the total area under encroachment in Assam is more than the size of Goa.

He also said the State government has evidence of members the Popular Front of India (PFI) and some individuals, including a college lecturer in Assam, instigating the people where an eviction drive was carried out on September 23. Two persons died in the operation.

“We have evidence that a few elements collected ₹28 lakh from the poor, landless families of Darrang district in the last three months, promising them that they would convince the government against eviction,” Dr. Sarma told journalists on Saturday.

“When they could not resist the drive, they mobilised people and created havoc. We have the names of six people, including the lecturer of a college. We have also found out that PFI members had gone to the site a day prior to the incident in the name of distributing food items to the evicted families,” he said.

He said more explosive information would come out once the judicial probe into the incident begins.

Land grant

According to the government’s policy, a landless person gets 6 bighas of land in a village but on certain conditions, the Chief Minister said, adding that he had told leaders of an influential minority students’ body about the eviction drive and sought a list of the landless people from them.

“The list was never given,” he said.

Giving an example of the magnitude of the land encroachment issue in Assam, Dr. Sarma said the total area under illegal occupation is more than the size of Goa.

He slammed the Congress for its criticism of his government on the issue. “The Congress has either not been able to understand the language of the Assamese or it has already abandoned community thinking that it will become a minority in 10 years and the votes of the Assamese will hardly have any value,” he said.

He also accused the Congress of “exporting” people to other constituencies to try and capture those seats by changing the pattern of population.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 12:16:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/encroached-land-in-assam-more-than-size-of-goa-says-cm/article36671549.ece

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