India

Assam eviction drive: Himanta hints at role of PFI, says some people collected Rs 28 lakh from landless

Naveen Bharat Editorial

GUWAHATI: The Assam government has found evidence of involvement of some persons in Thursday’s violence in Darrang district during an eviction drive against land encroachers.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that elements mobilized people and created havoc. He said that he has collected Rs 28 lakh from the poor and landless families of Darang in the last three months saying that he will convince the government against the eviction.

“When they could not resist the campaign, they mobilized people and created havoc. We have the names of six people who have clear intelligence that Rs 28 lakh was collected,” Sarma told reporters in Guwahati on Saturday.

He said that before the day of the incident, Popular Front of India had visited the site in the name of distributing food items to the dispossessed families.

Read also | ‘Where did 10,000 people come from?’: Assam CM Himanta on Thursday’s violence

“Pieces of evidence are now emerging, which indicate the involvement of some people, including a college lecturer from Assam. The government is probing the matter,” the CM said.

“The eviction drive was carried out for 60 families. Where did 10,000 people come from? I think we will get more explosive information once the judicial inquiry starts.

The Chief Minister said that as per the policy of the government, a landless person gets six bighas of land in a village but on certain conditions. He said he had told the leaders of the All Assam Minority Students’ Union in two meetings that the government would go ahead with the eviction drive and a list of landless people was sought, but it was not given.

Giving an example of how serious the problem of land encroachment is in Assam, he said that the amount of land occupied in the state is more than the size of Goa.

He attacked the Congress for criticizing his government on the issue. Either the Congress has not understood the language of Assamese or it has bid farewell to the community thinking that it will be a minority in 10 years and that Assamese votes will have little value. Sarma said.

He accused the Congress of “exporting” people to other constituencies to try to capture those seats by changing population patterns.

“They (Congress) want to weaken Assamese and India. Barchalla and Sipajhar assembly seats are their next targets. The encroachers in Barchalla are from Dhing and Roophihat constituencies,” claimed Sarma.

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