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Nearly 400 Acres of Land to be Cleared, Security Beefed Up

In an effort to crackdown on ‘illegal’ encroachments, the Assam government kicked off a significant eviction drive on Monday morning in Batadrava in Nagaon district. The drive aims to clear out ‘illegal’ encroachments by Muslim migrants in the area.

Nearly 397 acres of land is set to be cleared in the key encroachment drive. Thousands of CRPF and Assam police battalion personnel have been deployed in the Hidubi area in Batadrava, the birthplace of 15th-century Vaishnavite reformer Guru Sankardev.

The eviction drive is to be carried out in and around Batadrava area from Monday and is likely to continue for several days post that as well, according to officials. A survey was conducted in the area to identify the ‘illegal encroachments’ before the eviction drive, according to officials.

District administration officials claimed that notices were sent to around 1,000 alleged encroacher families during October, asking them to clear the land, per PTI.

Meanwhile, ahead of the demolition drive by the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led Assam government, hundreds of families living on the ‘encroached’ land have left the place. Many of them had dismantled their houses and moved on from there after the deployment of heavy security cover.

The administration publicly announced the eviction drive and asked all illegal occupants to leave the area with their belongings.

On September 12, Chief Minister Sarma told the Assam Assembly that a total of 4,449 families have been evicted across the state for alleged encroachment since the BJP-led government took charge for the second time in May last year.

Sarma had said that the government did not carry out any investigation on the citizenship of evicted families to find out if they were Indian nationals or foreigners.

He had further stated that the government was also “not aware” if the families, who encroached upon the government land, were homeless people due to erosion, a claim that most of such victims usually make.

The chief minister had said that rights like ‘Shelter over Head’ were available only for legal occupation and right to property is not a fundamental right.

(With PTI inputs)

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