JORABAT, Oct 1 - Over a thousand students and local people today staged a protest at Sonapur, demanding among other things, land pattas to the indigenous people and protection of the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary from encroachment. The protest was organised by the Dimoria unit of the AASU.
Shouting slogans against the State government, local MLA Akon Bora, as well as the State Land and Revenue Minister, the protesters also demanded speedy completion of the ongoing survey of the non-surveyed villages under Sonapur revenue circle, which has allegedly been lying idle since 2013.
Students from different schools and colleges of Dimoria region took part in the protest.
It may be recalled that a similar protest had also been staged on May 30, 2013, by the Dimoria AASU unit, demanding land pattas to local indigenous people. After that protest, some steps had indeed been taken by the government, but the outcome of those steps is yet to be seen.
Dimoria AASU president Jayanta Kalita and chief advisor Dibyajyoti Medhi alleged that around 32 non-cadastral villages of Dimoria have not been surveyed till date and the pace of the survey, being conducted by the departments concerned, has also been very slow. The AASU leaders further stated that there exists tea garden land in the area where no tea plantation is done, and these land areas must be converted to ceiling government land and allotted to people living there since long.
The student leaders also pointed out the names of industrial units and individuals who have illegally encroached on the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary. In the Amerigog non-cadastral village, KD Coke Factory, owned by Kailash Lohiya and Dilip Goenka, has allegedly encroached on 20 bighas; SM Cement Limited Factory, owned by Mukesh Surekha, has allegedly encroached on 10 bighas; and Swaran Automobiles showroom owned by Surender Singh Tedwal, has allegedly encroached on one bigha.
The names relating to the Kamarkuchi non-cadastral village include Debarshi Sen Deka, who has allegedly encroached on 20 bighas; Shiva Bottle Pvt Ltd Factory, owned by Prag Raj Sigla, which has encroached on 15 bighas; and Aarian Woods.