The Indigenous Students’ Forum of Dima Hasao district in Assam on Tuesday threatened to launch indefinite rail blockade from Thursday in the district alleging betrayal of the locals by railway authorities.
Tension prevailed at Haflong in Assam’s Dima Hasao district on Tuesday over the issue of compensation of land acquisition by the NF Railway authority.
A meeting was convened by Dima Hasao Deputy Commissioner on Tuesday to settle the land acquisition compensation issue. The general manager (GM) of NF Railway and the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) were supposed to the present in the meeting.
However, both the top railway officials gave the meeting a miss. This infuriated the representatives from Indigenous Students’ Forum who staged a walkout from the meeting.
Later the activists of the Indigenous Students’ Forum staged a protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office and shouted slogans against the railway authorities.
Notably, the locals of the hill district of Dima Hasao had to give away major portions of their agricultural land as well as dwelling land areas during the conversion work of broad gauge rail track between Lumding and Silchar.
At that point of time, an amount of Rs 1,78,37,417 was released by the railways to the district administration to be given as compensation to the affected residents.
Now the Indigenous Students’ Forum has been demanding separate compensation for land development purpose amounting to Rs 4.58 crore.
The Forum has been pressurizing the railway authorities to release the demanded amount.
Now the Forum has announced to launch a rail blockade agiation programme from March 1.
Under the present circumstances, the Deputy Commissioner Debojit Hazarika had convened a meeting on Tuesday to settle the matter in an amicable way.
The meeting was attended by Superintendent of Police (SP) Prasanta Saikia, and officials from the Lumding division of the railways.
However, the absence of the top railway officials irked the Indigenous Students’ Forum representatives who had alleged that the top railway officials have been betraying the people from time and again.
The agitated Forum leaders announced indefinite rail blockade in the district from Thursday.
Meanwhile, railway official from the Lumding division, P K Das, said that the issue of compensation lies within the jurisdiction of the Construction Division of the railways.
However, they have assured to pursue the case with the higher authorities.