Gauhati HC restrains Assam govt. from evicting villagers
Guwahati, Dec. 17 (IANS): The Gauhati High Court has restrained the Assam government from evicting the people of a village under Dhekiajuli police station in Sonitpur district, a court official said on Friday.
Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak, after hearing the petitioners and the government officials, directed the representatives of the government not to take any coercive measures against the people served eviction notices until a representation of the petitioners to the revenue circle officer concerned is disposed of.
The court fixed the next hearing of the case on February 2, 2022.
According to the HC order, the circle officer of Dhekiajuli revenue circle under Sonitpur district had, on November 15, issued eviction notices directing the villagers to vacate the government land they had encroached upon.
After receiving the notices, the villagers on December 3 wrote to Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Jogen Mohan and the officials concerned, urging them not to evict them and demanded allotment of the land claiming that they had been living on these lands for decades.
A total of 244 villagers approached the court. Senior advocate Santanu Barthakur, assisted by Jahir Abbas, argued the case for the villagers.
The village is not far from Dhalpur in Darrang district, where two persons, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed and 20 other injured in police firing and clashes during an eviction drive on September 23.
Like Dhalpur, all the residents of Dhekiajuli are Muslims.
The Assam government had earlier ordered a judicial inquiry into the September 23 incident. A state government official said that former Gauhati HC judge B.D. Agarwala would conduct the inquiry, which is to be completed within three months.
The Assam government for the past few months undertaken eviction drives in different districts to vacate the government lands encroached by hundreds of people for years. Various opposition parties including Congress had criticised the BJP government for evicting the people without making alternate settlements.