GUWAHATI, Sept 20 (IANS): In a strong warning to all encroachers of government lands across the state, the BJP-led Assam government on Tuesday said that it is taking steps to remove all the encroachments in a phased manner.
Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said that after evicting three villages near the Kaziranga National Park, the government is now focusing on the illegal encroachments in Mayong area in Morigaon district.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Sarma said that the previous Congress government in the state had also sanctioned a Lower Primary School, an Anganwadi centre and was building a road in Banderdubi area where the government carried out an eviction drive on Monday.
"The former Congress government in Assam had done all this in violation of a Supreme Court order and an order passed by the Gauhati High Court in 2015. The government had also given electricity connection to the illegal encroachers there," said Sarma.
He said the government had not fixed a timeframe to clear the illegal take-overs of lands but all the encroachments will be cleared gradually in a time-bound manner. "We are going slow on this but it will be done for sure," he said, adding that it was also one of the poll promises of the BJP.
"The Congress government not only disobeyed the orders of the apex court but violated it to settle the illegal encroachers and provided them with basic amenities," he said, adding that it was a plan of the Congress to intentionally change the demography of the state, particularly towards the Upper Assam areas for their petty vote bank politics.
"It was as part of a larger plan. The demography of certain districts in Lower Assam has already changed. The Congress was trying to change the demography in districts in Upper Assam also," he said.
Sarma said the administration in Nagaon district has demolished a total of 331 houses in the eviction drive in three villages in Kaziranga on Monday. He said that the genuine citizens of the villages have shifted on their own after being assured by the government that they would be given proper compensation.
"However, some people created problems leading to the death of two persons, including a woman, on Monday. However, the government is committed to free all the illegal encroachments in the state and there will be no compromise on that issue," Sarma added.