The Indigenous Students’ Forum (ISF), the apex students’ body of Dima Hasao district of Assam will launch an indefinite rail blockade in the district from Thursday.
The rail blockade is in protest against non-payment of due compensation to the local land owners who had forfeited their lands for the broad gauge conversion of the NF Railway.
Notably, the ISF has been protesting democratically for the last many years demanding adequate compensation for the land owners, but to no avail.
Though a portion of the compensation has been paid by the railway authorities, series of meetings held for releasing the remaining compensation failed to arrive at any definite conclusion.
According to David Keivom, the president of Indigenous Students Forum, as many as 15 meetings have already been held at Haflong, Lumding and Maligaon in Guwahati with the NF Railway authorities regarding release of the remaining amount of compensation to the affected land owners, but none of the meetings arrived at any amicable solution.
The ISF president also alleged that the railway authorities have been giving false assurances each and every time of releasing the remaining amount for compensation.
Notably, an amount of Rs 1.78 crore has been initially released and the remaining amount of Rs 4.58 crore is yet to be released by the railway authorities.
A crucial meeting on the issue of releasing the remaining amount of compensation money was held on March 1 last at the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Dima Hasao where the DGP of Special Branch of Assam Police, Pallav Bhattacharya was also present.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of the NF Railway who had asked for one month’s time for releasing the remaining amount of compensation money.
Later the Deputy Commissioner had sought another one month’s time, but the ISF had given a time-frame of 15 days.
However, even after the deadline, the issue remained unresolved prompting the students’ body to launch this agitation.