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


Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The Assam government has got evidence about the involvement of certain individuals in Thursday’s violence in Darrang district during an eviction drive against land encroachers.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the elements had mobilised people and created havoc. He said they had collected Rs 28 lakh from the poor and landless families of Darrang in the last three months saying that they would convince the government against eviction.

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

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

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

“The pieces of evidence are now emerging, indicating the involvement of certain people, including a college lecturer of Assam. The government is enquiring 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 a lot more explosive information once the judicial probe begins,” he said.

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

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

He attacked the Congress for its criticism of his government on the issue. Either the Congress has not been able to understand the language of the Assamese or it has bidden adieu to the community thinking that it is, in any case, going to be a minority in 10 years and the votes of the Assamese will hardly have any value, Sarma said.

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

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

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