Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday defended the eviction drive at Garukhuti in Darrang district and said that his government cannot allow 1,000 families to grab 77,000 acres land.

“We have evicted them because this is a land of 77,000 acres and 1,000 families cannot occupy those 77,000 acres of land. There has to be an economic distribution of land,” Sarma said at the India Today conclave.

“Our land policy says that nobody can occupy land more than 2 acres,” he added.

“We have to give land to the people who don’t have land. We have to do government projects. So we have to evict people if they encroach land in VGR (Village Grazing Reserve), PGR (Professional Grazing Reserve) and if they encroach land in our forestry,” Sarma said.

He added that eviction is a continuous process but the issue has come into national focus because of an incident in the state.

Sarma said that even the local Assamese people were also evicted whenever they try to occupy government land.

“There’s no community-wise politics, no communalisation on this,” he said.

He further said that the BJP does not need votes from the ‘Miya’ Muslims (Bengali-speaking Muslims).

“I don’t want Miya votes, we live in harmony I don’t go to them for votes, and they also don’t come to me,” he said.

Two evicted people were killed in police firing and at least 12 others including a policeman injured in a clash during an eviction drive at Dholpur in Darramg district last month.

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