- NET Web Desk
In yet another bid to recover government land from encroachers, the Assam government on November 8 carried out a major eviction drive in the Lumding reserve forest in the Hojai district of Assam.
According to reports, the government backed eviction drive was carried out after the Guwahati High Court instructed to oust illegal occupants from reserve forest lands.
Reports further suggest that the state government has already deployed about 1000 security personnel which include groups from the State Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The paramilitary forces are set up in order to prevent any untoward incident like the Darrang incident.
According to the district administration in Hojai, most of the encroachers had evacuated their homes prior to the eviction drive.
The major eviction drive included the use of both elephants and bulldozers for demolishing the illegal structures.
According to an official statement by a presiding officer, “Today, we have demolished around 555 houses, illegal structures. Most of the people who encroached on the forest lands have cooperated with us and they left the forest lands. Our drive will continue tomorrow also.”
It may be mentioned that, the eviction drive will also continue on November 9.
Official reports state that, the Lumding reserve forest covers over 22,403 hectares, out of which 1,410 hectares was encroached upon by illegal settlers.
According to Hojai Divisional Forest Officer Gounadeep Das, “about 3,000 people from 670 families were living on the encroached land. The illegal settlers took up the occupation of agriculture and business to sustain themselves.”
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said. “Eviction drive has been carried out peacefully in Lumding forest. Everyone (settlers) has been sent home. The forest is free of encroachment from today.”