The Assam government has informed the Gauhati High Court that it is ready to relocate the families, which were evicted from villages in Darrang district’s Sipajhar recently, only if they (evicted families) can prove that they are Indian citizens.
The Assam government has said that it has earmarked around 1000 bighas of land to relocate the evicted families.
The Assam government, however, said it will not pay any compensation to the evicted families as they were ‘encroachers’.
The Assam government was responding to a Public Interest Litigaion (PIL) filed by the leader of opposition in state assembly – Debabrata Saikia.
“An area of about 1,000 bighas (about 134 hectares) of land in the southern part of No 1 & No 3 Dhalpur village has been earmarked for relocating the evicted persons subject to verification of the status of erosion affected and landless status in their respective original places and districts, citizenship and existing rehabilitation policy of the state,” the Assam government affidavit read.
The Gauhati High Court bench, headed by chief justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and justice Kakheto Sema fixed December 14 for the next hearing.
“All the same, as and when such measures are adopted, the petitioner would be at liberty to move an application before this Court,” the court order said.
Besides the PIL filed by Assam Congress’ Debabrata Saikia, the Gauhati High Court had also filed a suo moto PIL in connection with the violent eviction drive at Sipajhar in Darrang district.
Two persons, including a minor, had died due to police firing following a clash between protestors and officials of Darrang district administration during an eviction drive in Sipajhar on September 23.
“This is a big tragedy, very unfortunate. Those who are guilty, if at all must be punished, no doubt about that,” the Gauhati HC had earlier said.
Chief justice Sudhanshu Dhulia had added: “Khoon zameen par gir gaya (blood has been spilt).”