TEZPUR, Nov 30 � The issue of many suspected Bangladeshis trying to settle in the char areas and other government land in Sonitpur and its adjoining areas including Lawkhowa Sanctuary, Burhachapori Sanctuary and sixth addition of the Kaziranga National Park in Biswanath sub-division and Kochmora, Doboka, Lutumari, Borapani, Bamuni, Viju valley etc., reserved forests has become a major concern here.
It is worth mentioning here that the arrival of hundreds of suspected Bangladeshis in the district under the very nose of the authorities concerned has become a regular feature here. More importantly, at a time when the influx issue has been able to draw the attention of all concerned in the state, the suspected Bangladeshis are continuing to encroach on land in char areas and in the reserved forest areas and in the sanctuaries before the very eyes of the authorities concern.
Not only that, even intelligence sources here have credible information about the suspected Bangladeshi settlers in the char areas of indulging in acts like training on horse riding, fencing, shooting with imported firearms and lethal arms etc. However, it is alleged that even though the matter has repeatedly been brought to the notice of the authorities concerned including the police and circle office here, they are seen maintaining a studied silence over it.
According to forest department sources, already 620 hectares of land in Lawkhowa Sanctuary, 700 hectares of land in Burhachapori Sanctuary and 10 square km land in Kochmora Chapori have been encroached upon. Already hundreds of huts have been constructed by the Bangladeshi nationals in these sanctuaries posing a serious threat to the very existence of the reserved areas. Sources further revealed that suspected illegal migrants backed by some influential locals have already encroached on hectares of government land by opening small tea gardens. The people alleged that it is nothing but an outcome of politically-motivated act.
However, the infuriated local people burnt down altogether 15 huts built by suspected Bangladeshi people at Pahu Tapu near Gomiri Ghat under Biswanath subdivision in Sonitpur district on Thursday morning. According to the local people of the area, a few days back four to five huts were seen constructed in the Pahu Tapu area some 14 km from Gohpur town, which later increased to about 15. The area falls under the sixth edition of KNP. People alleged that for the last few days some suspected Bangladeshis have been sneaking into the area by machine boat along the Brahmaputra with livestock like buffalo and cows and captured the dairy farms of the local people.
Following the incident sensation prevails in the area. Police have already rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. On the other hand, locals alleged that police and the forest guards after finding the illegal migrants took them away towards Kohora by boat.