The villagers of Laika and Dodhia in the Tinsukia district have been protesting for the last 7 days seeking immediate rehabilitation of around 1,480 families.

The protesters have set up relief camps at Lezaihola Borguri near the office of the Tinsukia deputy commissioner to pressurize the district administration for fulfilling their demands.

Laika and Dhodhia are two forest villages that fall under Dibru-Saikhowa National Park of Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district.

Apio Taid, a member of Laika and Dodhia Rehabilitation Committee, said, “We have been living here for the last 70 years. But we are not receiving any benefit from the government schemes.”

“For rehabilitation of the people of Laika and Dodhia, a 320-hectare land was allotted by the government at Oguri in Digboi range. But the Tinsukia district administration is yet to act according to the announcement by the government.”

He added, “The Sarbananda Sonowal-led BJP government assured us that they were ready to provide land for the rehabilitation of the people. But the assurance is yet to be materialized.”

“We face the wrath of flood and erosion during monsoon and the people have to live in relief camps. We have been struggling for the last many years but except the assurances from the government, we are getting nothing,” Taid added.

Most of the people of the two villages migrated from the Murkongselek area of Dhemaji district after the massive earthquake of 1950. Since then, they have been living in the forest villages.

“We have been demanding water and medical facilities in our village but till date, no such facility has been provided by the government. Local MLA Binod Hazarika has taken no initiative to solve our problems,” Taid said.

“We have lots of expectations from chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal as after the formation of the BJP government in Assam, Rs 10 crore was allotted in the budget for the rehabilitation programme.”

“If our demands are not fulfilled at the earliest, we will intensify our movement,” Taid added.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com