Skip to main content

Kaziranga police firing deaths dubbed as Assam BJP govt's effort to create "paranoia" among state minorities

Eviction drive under police protection
By Our Representative
A well-known advocacy group, Delhi Action Committee (DAC), has accused Assam’s BJP government of creating “paranoia" against the minority inhabitants of "erstwhile East Bengal origin”, pointing to the police action on September 19, which led to the death of two persons during protests, Anjuma Khatun and Fakhruddin.
The demonstration was led by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) at Banderdubi revenue village near the Kaziranga National Park. The protestors were demanding resettlement and adequate compensation against an eviction drive.
The eviction drive was being carried out to the Gauhati High Court ordered in October last year that Banderdubi and Deochurchang near Kaziranga National Park be cleared of encroachers. According to industries minister Chandra Mohan Patowary the state government was “committed to the protection of Kaziranga”, adding, "The eviction was carried out as per the orders of the High Court.”
Another minister, looking after health and education portfolio, Himanta Biswa Sarma, complimented the Nagaon district administration for its “successful eviction drive” saying, "Our government will never compromise on jati (identity), mati (land) and bheti (home).”
Taking strong exception to this view, DAC says, “The villagers, belonging mainly to the Muslim community of erstwhile East Bengal origin, have been residing in the village for more than half a century” adding, “Out of the 198 displaced families from Banderdubi, around 40 have moved in with their relatives and the rest have been compelled to seek shelter in Baghmari, a nearby village under the open skies.”
Pointing out that the authorities “not yet any relief measures to reach them”, the DAC statement says, “The seven Hindu families that lived in the village were informed before and were reportedly asked to move into safe places before the commencement of the forceful eviction drive, which highlights the communal agenda of the state administration.”
Calling Sarma view, posted on Facebook, that the new government would never compromise on “jati, mati, and bheti”, DAC says, it is “rhetoric” to pit “one section of society against another”, adding, the state government is resorting to “gross misinformation and falsehood” to allegedly “recover” the Assamese nation from the outsiders – Bangladeshis.
DAC says, “These villages have been in those areas even before official recognition of Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary as a National Park, its inhabitants are not encroachers but revenue-paying villagers.” It refers to records of the villages Banderdubi and Deochur Chang, saying they “came into existence in 1951 and the government granted patta (land entitlements) in 1961.”
“The names of the villagers were inserted into the voters’ list in 1965 for the assembly election, and a government school was established there in 1966. On the other hand, Kaziranga was declared as a National Park by the central government on February 11, 1974”, DAC says.
Claims DAC, “The villagers were willing to abide by the Gauhati High Court order and evict the land voluntarily for the cause of conservation of the national park, but were simply demanding resettlement and adequate compensation and enough time to comply with the court’s order.”
It adds, “In the consequent clash between the police and the local people, the police blatantly resorted to extreme brutality, first with tear gas and then with live bullets. Apart from the casualties, five more people have been severely injured.”
Those who have signed the statement on behalf of the DAC are Biswajit Bora, Shalim M Hussain, Jyotirmoy Talukdar, Sukruta Alluri, Bonojit Hussain, Mayur Chetia, Nayan Jyoti , Lokesh, Kislay Gonsalvez, Amrapali Basumatary, Usman Jawed, and Apoorva Gautam.

Comments

TRENDING

Telangana govt proposes to give unfettered powers to forest officials, 'help' corporates

By Dr Palla Trinadha Rao*
The Telangana Government is contemplating to replace the Telangana Forest Act 1967 with a new law - the Telangana Forest Act (TFA) 2019, trampling the rights of adivasis ensured under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA Act 2006) and Panchayats Extension to Schedule Area (PESA) Act 1996 both of which are central acts.

RSS, Hindu Mahasabha were 'subservient' to British masters: Nagpur varsity VC told

Counterview Desk
Well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam, associate professor (retired), University of Delhi, in an open letter to the vice-chancellor of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Dr Siddharthavinayaka P Kane, has taken strong exception to the varsity decision to include RSS’ “role” in nation building in the syllabus of the BA (history) course, citing instances to say that the RSS ever since its birth in 1925 with its Hindutva allies like Hindu Mahasabha led by VD Savarkar worked overtime to “betray the glorious anti-colonial freedom struggle”.

British companies export 'deadly' asbestos to India, other countries from offshore offices

By Rajiv Shah
“The Sunday Times”, which forms part of the powerful British daily, “The Times”, has raised the alarm that though the “deadly” asbestos is banned in Britain, companies registered in United Kingdom, and operating from other countries, “are involved in shipping it to developing nations”, especially India. India, Brazil, Russia and China account for almost 80% of the asbestos consumed globally every year, it adds.

One lakh schools closed down, draft policy 'seeks' commercialisation: Whither RTE?

By Our Representative
A national consultation on the new draft National Education Policy (NEP) with senior experts, teachers’ association representatives and other stakeholders at the India International Centre in New Delhi on July 11, organised by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, has expressed serious concern over curtailment in the budgeted expenditure on education year after year, even as closure of more than one lakh schools over the "last few years."

Lynching as state terror? Complete dearth of 'political will' to deal with mob violence

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
On Friday July 5, thousands of people had gathered at a rally in Surat to protest against the growing mob lynching incidents in different parts of the country. There are different interpretations at what happened during the rally: with police blaming the rallyists and those in the rally blaming the police for using teargas shells upon them without any reason.

Beijing-based infrastructure bank 'funding' India's environmentally risky projects

By Our Representative
A new civil society note has questioned the operations of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, seeking to fund projects in India through the Government of India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), calling it “a risky venture”.

Gender budgeting? Govt of India allocates just 2.1%, 0.73% for SC, ST women

By Rajiv Shah
The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), one of the most influential all-India Dalit rights networks, has taken strong exception to the manner in which the Government of India has undermined Gender Responsive Budgeting in the Union Budget 2019-20 for scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs), pointing towards “wide gaps” between the goals and the situational reality of “the Dalit and Adivasi women on the ground.”

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Universal healthcare? India lacks provisions to 'fight' non-communicable diseases

By Moin Qazi*
Universal health coverage (UHC) -- ensuring that all people receive proper and adequate health care without suffering financial hardship -- is an integral part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It enables countries to make the most of their strongest asset: human capital.

Include all workers exposed to silica dust in anti-TB programme: Govt of India told

Counterview Desk
In a letter, sponsored by well-known civil rights organization, Occupational & Environmental Health Network of India and signed by more than 60 professionals and activists*, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has been told that Indian policy makers shouldn't just acknowledge higher TB risk to mine and stone crusher workers, but also “other silica-exposed workers”.