JORABAT, Jan 23 - With tension simmering across Dimoria region over acquisition of land for setting up a military camp, a number of local organisations have joined hands to protest against the government�s move.
The Dimoria unit of All Assam Students� Union (AASU), along with a few other organisations and local residents, today took to the streets to protest against the government�s decision to set up a camp of the Assam Rifles on agricultural land at Domorapathar village in Sonapur.
The administration recently handed over 144 bighas and 19 lesas of agricultural-cum-tribal belt land at Domorapathar village under the Sonapur circle office � where around 43 families reside � to the Assam Rifles.
The protesters expressed resentment over the government�s alleged failure to protect the rights of the indigenous people. The AASU unit alleged that the administration has not assessed the social and cultural impact of the plan to set up the camp, especially on those living in the area.
The protesters shouted anti-government slogans and burnt the effigy of the Assam Rifles.
Rintu Das, president of the Dimoria AASU unit, said that the people of Dimoria would in no way part with their agricultural and tribal land. A local resident wondered how a no-objection certificate was provided by the local administration to set up the camp without the consent of the local residents. Sources said that local communities residing in the area have not been paid compensation for their land and no consent has been taken prior to land acquisition.
Dibyajyoti Medhi, general secretary of the Kamrup Metro AASU unit, also resented the government�s move to set up military camps in tribal belt areas, �which will have a drastic impact on the social and cultural structure of the region and eventually lead to the displacement of indigenous people from their land�.
�Land can be allotted at some other site where there is no threat to nature and the local communities. But the government is targeting the people of Dimoria, as a number of military camps have been set up there without proper compensation and consent of the local people,� Medhi added.
Circle Officer of Sonapur revenue circle Jenifer Yasmin Choudhury said that about 65 per cent of the compensation had been paid. �On the day of handing over the land to the Assam Rifles, we received several objections, which will be looked into accordingly,� she added. The Circle Officer denied having any details of NOC being issued and public hearings being conducted in the matter.
Meanwhile, the protesters also highlighted the recent establishment of an NDRF camp in the middle of Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary and an ITBP camp in the eco-sensitive zone where construction works have been carried out against the norms set up by the government and court.
The villagers, who were evicted due to the setting up of various military camps, have not allegedly been paid compensation. Many of them have allegedly been rendered landless without any means of livelihood.
It may be noted that AASU and some tribal bodies had recently submitted memoranda to the Chief Minister through the Circle Officer in this regard.