All India Mahila Congress president and former MP, Sushmita Dev, upon reaching Silchar on Tuesday evening, straightaway went for Rajnikhal under Dholai constituency of Cachar district in Assam.
Dev took stock of the 82 families that were evicted on June 7 last. She later called upon the deputy commissioner of Cachar, Laya Madduri and informed of meeting the DFO, Sunny Deo Choudhury, in this regard, after a meeting with her district Congress committee officer bearers, on Wednesday.
On Tuesday evening after touching down from Delhi, Sushmita Dev walked close to two kms on foot to reach Rajnikhal from Dholai town, a forest land, wherein 82 families were evicted on June 7 last.
Taking stock of the situation and finding close to 500 residents living in makeshift shelter in open land, she had a threadbare discussion with the evicted families of Rajnikhal forest area.
Later talking to Northeast Now, she said, “The day Parimal Suklabaidya, an MLA from Dholai constituency itself, and went on to become a minister of Forests and Excise, he has been ‘misusing’ his officers. This place has been targeted and is not a replica of the Kaziranga like incident.”
“These evicted people have their names in NRC, they have voter ID cards, ration cards, job cards, even 11 of them went on to get Indira Awas Yojna schemes to build their houses, many have received electricity due to grameen vidyut yojana, which brings in question, as to why no thought was given for their rehabilitation even after getting all help from the government in the past and elephants brought in to demolish their houses,” questioned Sushmita.
The residents of Rajnikhal upon seeing the former MP out there in Rajnikhal and enquiring about them could not hold back their anguish and state of affairs. They said, “The forest officials have demolished 81 houses but spared one house at the entry point which belonged to Mashraf Ali, a BJP cadre. We were told during the panchayat elections that if we don’t vote for BJP, we would be evicted from this forest land. They have demolished our Imam’s house, one venture school, thousands of beetle nut trees.”
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Cachar District Congress Committee would be convened on Wednesday in Silchar to decide the next course of action as all finger points to beginning of an eviction drive in those areas where BJP could not make many inroads.