The Assam government launched a fresh eviction drive in the state’s Karbi Anglong district on Monday. As many as 106 families will be displaced from Lahorijan Dudu Colony of Bokajan town due the eviction, according to Assamese channel News Live.
Karbi Anglong Deputy Commissioner Dibakar Nath told Scroll.in that the people living in the locality belonged to the Muslim, Nepali and Naga communities.
“The eviction was done following a request from the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council,” Nath said. “The drive was started at 8 am and was completed by 3 pm. It was done in a peaceful manner.”
Superintendent of Police Pushpraj Singh told reporters that more than 2,000 people out of the nearly 3,000 who were living in the allegedly illegal houses had left the locality by Sunday night.
The Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government has been conducting widespread eviction drives to clear plots of land of those whom it has branded “illegal encroachers”. Many of those who have been evicted or are being asked to vacate are poor Muslims who had earlier lost land in floods and erosion.
During one of these drives on September 23, two civilians, including a 12-year-old child, were killed in police firing in the Sipajhar area of Assam’s Darrang district. It was the second mass eviction drive that week. The villages that were issued eviction notices were mainly home to Muslims of Bengali origin.
On Monday, Assam Speaker Biswajit Daimary did not allow a discussion in the state Assembly about the killings during the Sipajhar eviction, the Assam Tribune reported. The Congress and All India United Democratic Front MLAs had moved two adjournment motions on the matter. However, the Speaker said that the matter cannot be discussed in the Assembly as it was sub-judice.
All India United Democratic Front MLA Hafiz Rafiqul Islam said that the Speaker’s decision was an unfortunate one.
In a series of tweets, Islam said on Monday that the evictions showed “divisive attitude” of the Assam government and the decision to not allow a discussion on the matter in the Assembly exposed its “fascist nature and their disrespect towards democratic procedure”.
The Assam Criminal Investigation Department is investigating the killings and has arrested three men for allegedly instigating the violence. The Assam Human Rights Commission has held that the violence amounted to a prima facie case of human rights violation.