GUWAHATI, Aug 25 - Launching one of the biggest eviction drives in the State�s history, the personnel of police and civil administration demolished altogether 283 dwellings, including concrete structures, inside Amchang Wildife Sanctuary today.
The eviction drive, which started at around 9 am and continued till 4 pm, was carried out in two locations � Botahghuli and Khanapara.
Two teams each were deployed to evict encroachers at Yusufnagar � atop a hill at Botahghuli � and at Kankannagar-Nabajyotinagar behind the College of Veterinary Science.
A senior forest official said four elephants, eight excavators, 1,200 personnel and 400 labourers were deployed for the operation today.
The number of people affected in the operation could be around 2,000 settlers, the official said.
Meanwhile, two persons were arrested at Botahghuli on charges of attacking the personnel during the exercise.
There was also a mild resistance from the tribal encroachers at Kankannagar, but no untoward incident was reported. �People had already taken out their belongings. We did not face much problem,� said an officer who was present at the site.
�At around 3 pm, there was a rumour at Botahghuli eviction site that the court had stayed the eviction. There was a hue and cry. Some miscreants from outside also joined the crowd and a few tried to attack the security personnel. We detained around eight persons, and two of them were arrested so far,� a police official said.
A bench of the Gauhati High Court comprising Chief Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Manojit Bhuyan had on August 2 last granted a month�s time to the government to evict encroachers.
The High Court had taken up the suo moto PIL in 2013 following a letter written by NGO Early Birds to the Chief Justice detailing how the area of the sanctuary was shrinking rapidly due to the encroachments.
The number of encroachers inside the sanctuary could be over 6,000. A recent joint survey had revealed that the area under encroachment could be around 500 hectares. The number of households would be over 1,414 in 34 locations.
The eviction operation is expected to continue for a few days.
Meanwhile, hearing a petition, the Gauhati High Court has ordered a suo moto in case of 25 families of Yusufnagar. The district administration said the case of these families is being looked into, but the eviction elsewhere inside the sanctuary will continue.