“All the 800 families evicted on Monday are staying in a makeshift camp on the road or a nearby sandbar in a wetland at Dholpur 3 village. The administration had proposed to give them 1,000 bighas in the area where they are now staying. But there has been no written assurance. The villagers do not trust the verbal proposal by the administration, which also led to the violent protest on Thursday,” Mohammed Iddrish Ali, a local leader of the All-Assam Minorities Students’ Union (Aamsu), an influential students’ body representing both religious and linguistic minorities.
Ali said the land proposed is not fit for human habitation as the roofs of the houses will get inundated during the monsoon.
“The evicted people living in the camps were not provided even basic amenities such as drinking water. Also, the land proposed is too less. How do they propose to accommodate 800 families in 1,000 bighas,” Ali asked.
He said all the evicted people are dependent on farming. If they don’t have land, what they will cultivate, he asked.
Mir Sirajul Haque (47), a resident and shopowner at No. 3 Dholpur village, whose shop was dismantled on Monday, echoed Ali, saying the people are now in dire need of help as most of them have lost whatever little they had.
Darrang superintendent of police Sushanta Biswa Sarma, the brother of Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, said Monday’s eviction drive was peaceful as no resistance was offered and families were seen shifting their belongings on their own.