GUWAHATI, Aug 26 - The massive eviction drive launched inside Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary yesterday has been suspended for two days till Monday.
Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner M Angamuthu told The Assam Tribune that some settlers have volunteered to shift their belongings on their own and so the administration has decided to give them some time.
�We also need to mobilize in a better way and plan accordingly,� the DC said.
Senior forest officials, however, feigned ignorance about the decision of the administration.
The decision to suspend the eviction drive was taken late at night yesterday, setting tongues wagging. There are speculations on political pressure on the administration. The officials are, however, tightlipped on the issue.
Acting on a direction of the Gauhati High Court, personnel of the State police and administration demolished altogether 283 dwellings, including concrete structures, inside the sanctuary yesterday. The eviction was carried out at Yusufnagar (a hilltop at Botahghuli) and at Kankannagar-Nabajyotinagar, near the College of Veterinary Science.
The number of settlers affected in the operation yesterday could be around 2,000, even though 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 and the number of households would be over 1,414 in 34 locations.