The resumption of eviction drive in Langkaijan area of Karbi Anglong in the inter-district border of Karbi Anglong and Hojai met with stiff resistance and protest on Friday which resulted in resorting to baton-charge.
Sharp weapons, lathis, marbles and catapults were found hidden in the bushes near the protest site.
The eviction was halted for the day at Ambari, not far from the border with Hojai district.
Land revenue and forest department officials under the administrative control of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) and district administration, guarded by police and other para-military force personnel took part in the eviction.
Karbi Anglong’s additional deputy commissioner Norsing Bey and magistrates Karpun Patir, Kilunteule Zeme and Mukur Borah; superintendent of police (SP) Gaurav Upadhyay; additional SP (Headquarter) Indranil Baruah and KAAC deputy secretary in charge of land revenue Michael Timung and secretary Tensing Rongpi led the eviction team.
The team with police and paramilitary forces along with 15 excavators climbed up to Ambari, a hill top, where the convoy was waylaid by hundreds of protesters.
The protesters led by Kasem Ali, general secretary of Hojai district committee of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) sat on the ground and refused to move.
Slogans were shouted against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief executive member (CEM) of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) Tuliram Ronghang and the district administration of Karbi Anglong.
The protesters refused to allow the eviction drive without clear boundary demarcation between Karbi Anglong and Hojai districts.
One of the protesters Abdul Rejak, whose wife Saleha Begum is a member of Anchalik Panchayat of the area said, “According to our understanding, the border of Karbi Anglong does not come till Ambari area and we have clear information from the circle office of Lanka in this regard.”
“What we are demanding is let the district administrations of both Hojai and Karbi Anglong show us the border demarcation and then we will leave. If our people have crossed the border and occupied Karbi Anglong’s land, then we will tell them to retreat,” he added.
Rajek claimed, his house, which falls in the contiguous area with Langkaijan inside Karbi Anglong and also inside Hojai district, is not to be evicted.
During the protest, leaders of Hojai District Congress Committee were also present.
Later, officials from the Hojai district administration held a discussion with the officials from Karbi Anglong. But as the agitating crowd blocked the passage for law and order officials, the protestors were baton-charged in which some of the protesters suffered minor injuries.
After the protesters dispersed, police and paramilitary force personnel found sharp edge weapons, freshly made lathis, dried mud balls, marbles and catapults in the bushes near the protest site.
From Hojai district administration, Hojai additional DC (revenue) Pankaj Dekka; Lanka circle officer Gergo Mahan Das and additional SP Sumon Chakroborty and from Karbi Anglong side ARO (Phuloni) Tarun Engti; SP Gaurav Upadhyay; ADC Noren Bey and KAAC deputy secretary Michael Timung held a discussion.
With GPS reading they found that from Ambari, where the eviction party assembled, up to which Karbi Anglong’s border ends, is only 400 metres away towards the west.
Meanwhile, eviction was carried out inside Karbi Anglong in which several houses and shops were demolished belonging to illegal settlers.