Assam eviction: Congress leader files PIL in HC seeking formulation of rehabilitation policy

By PTI

GUWAHATI: Leader of the Opposition in Assam assembly, Debabrata Saikia, has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Gauhati High Court seeking, among others, formulation of a rehabilitation policy for evicting people from government land by the administration.

The senior Congress leader’s PIL was filed days after two persons were killed in police firing and 20 others injured in clashes between security forces and alleged encroachers during an eviction drive in villages under Sipajhar revenue circle in Darrang district on September 23.

The matter was listed for hearing on Thursday.

Saikia also prayed for a time-bound investigation under the scrutiny of the high court into the deaths and injuries caused during the eviction drive at Garukhuti in Sipajhar area.

The PIL claimed that proper guidelines are not followed while conducting eviction drives and attempts have been made to deprive local people of land rights on various grounds in Assam since 2016.

The BJP came to power in the North-eastern state in that year.

The PIL prayed for mandatory social impact assessment, meaningful consultation with evicted persons and formulation of schemes for their rehabilitation, resettlement and compensation in a time-bound manner.

It said the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 should be followed in letter and spirit in respect of evictions sought to be carried out in Assam.

The Congress leader, in his plea, sought quashing of the government’s decision to implement the Garukhuti project aiming at starting agriculture and allied activities for indigenous youths in the area.