Evicted children
Children of families who have been evicted from government land at Hokdoba near Jogighopa under Boitamari circle in Bongaigaon district. Image credit - Sofikul Ahmed-Monower Hussain

Several organisations have urged the deputy commissioner of Bongaigaon to make arrangement of a plot of land to rehabilitate the 53 evicted families of Hokdoba near Jogighopa under Boitamari circle in Bongaigaon district.

A total of 53 families of Hokdoba near Jogighopa were evicted from the land preserved for government grazing field as per a Guwahati High Court order on Tuesday and since then they have been passing days and nights under the open sky with women and children.

The All Assam Minority Students Union (AAMSU), Satra Mukti Sangram Samitee (SMSS) and Sankhyaloghu Sangram Parishad (SSP) in separate memorandums demanded immediate arrangement of alternative shelter for the 53 landless families out of total 153, who were inhabitants of Majer Alga Char, but settled in the government land of Hokdoba after facing erosion.

eviction
A children of a family evicted from government land at Hokdoba near Jogighopa under Boitamari circle in Bongaigaon district. Image credit – Sofikul Ahmed-Monower Hussain
A children of a family evicted from government land at Hokdoba near Jogighopa under Boitamari circle in Bongaigaon district. Image credit – Sofikul Ahmed-Monower Hussain

“It is because of the humanitarian ground, the families should be settled somewhere nearby Hokdoba where were living for long 23 years before eviction. We will be compelled to sit-in-protest unless no effective step is taken,” said Rezaul Karim Sarkar, president, central committee of AAMSU.

Talking to Northeast Now, Parthopratim Neog, circle officer of Boitamari under whose supervision the eviction was carried out, said, “We evicted about 153 families among whom some are landless. So, we are seriously considering allotting lands to the landless evicted people. However, this will take some time as we will have to ascertain the exact number of the genuine beneficiaries.”

“This is necessary from the point that the number of original settlers, who had lost lands due to river erosion and settled in the said place, increased with the passing of time. Thus, a process of NRC verification may also be taken up,” he added.

The Hokdoba grazing field under Balapara gaon panchayat was encroached and settled by the people who faced river erosion back in 1995. A writ petition No WP(C) 240/18 was submitted by a section of people demanding eviction and subsequently the Gauhati High Court directed the Bongaigaon district administration to undertake eviction.

On Tuesday the eviction was carried out by the Bongaigaon district administration. Following the eviction and clearance of total 107 bighas of land, the forest department immediately undertook a social plantation programme.

Sofikul Ahmed

Sofikul Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in Goalpara. He can be reached at: dull.sofik@gmail.com

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