DIPHU, March 3 - The Land Revenue and Forest departments functioning under the administrative jurisdiction of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) with the assistance of the district police carried out a massive eviction drive on Saturday to clear a reserve forest land located within the general area of Lankai Jan around 30 kilometres from Diphu and around 35 kilometres from Bakalia town. The whole area has been allegedly encroached by doubtful Bangladeshi nationals who are utilising the occupied land for agricultural purposes. The vast reserve forest area is in the fringe of Karbi Anglong autonomous district bordering Hojai district of Assam.
The eviction which began around 11 am with the permission of the Assam government and authorities of both the districts was met with severe resistance from the said illegal encroachers. However, with the assistance of around 500 forest officials, demolishers and the nearly 500 strong police and paramilitary personnel, the district administration bulldozed around 35 dwelling houses. When the eviction team was about to flatten a fabricated market place, thousands of fuming people resisted and tried to seize a bulldozer but the police controlled the situation.
The encroachers claim that the whole area of Lankai Jan is within the cadastral map of Hojai district against the counter-claim of the Revenue Officer of Phuloni revenue circle and Divisional Forest Officer (West Division) Karbi Anglong. In the melee between the encroachers and government officers of Karbi Anglong, the magistrate on duty Norsing Bey and Superintendent of Police Karbi Anglong Gaurav Upadhyay suspended the operation at around 4 pm. The Revenue department has demarcated 1016 illegal constructions inside Lankaijan reserve forest for eviction.
“Segregation of the exact perimeter or edge of the inter-district boundary by the Revenue department was not satisfactory. However, we have assisted the government force engaged in eviction amid the tense situation” SP Gaurav Upadhyay told this correspondent over phone.
“Eviction will continue until all the illegal encroachers are evicted from that portion of forest land. The whole area belongs to Karbi Anglong autonomous district and the Council authority will not compromise on this issue,” Tuliram Ronghang, Chief Executive Member of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council said.