BARPETA, April 22 - The slogan �Jati Mati Bheti� by the incumbent Government at Dispur has again proved to be a farce when as many as eight persons were injured in an attack by some encroachers at Kaldi Reserve under Sarthebari Revenue Circle in Barpeta district on the afternoon of April 20.
According to information available, a group of encroachers arrived in a grazing reserve adjacent to Salmara Beel armed with excavators on April 20. Though the local residents asked them not to proceed any further, their pleas were ignored by the miscreants. When the local people subsequently argued with them, the miscreants first abused them with harsh words and then attacked the locals with lethal weapons.
As a result, Sibala Das, Tapan Das, Dhanjit Das, Susmita Das, Sonmaina Das, Malay Das and two minors Anamika and Mintu sustained injuries in the attack. As informed by the victims, most of the culprits are new entrants into the locality. They regularly threaten the locals in a bid to drive them away from the area. They even threatened the locals of dire consequences if they inform the matter to police, and even threatened to raid their crops this season.
It may be mentioned here that taking full advantage of the indifference of the district administration and the Fishery Department, huge VGR areas in Sarukshetri Mouza under Sarthebari Revenue Circle area has been encroached upon by people of doubtful nationality. Illegal occupants have now even dared to encroach upon notified fisheries like Kapala, Barkana, Salmara and Hablakhowa. Obviously, the very existence of these natural fisheries are now at stake as most of the areas are encroached, and even the core areas have not been spared.
Once an open area towards the south of Kapala Beel and Amrikhowa village, dwelling houses have been built all along the reserve. Large fisheries covering 40-50 bighas have been dug in almost all the reserves. Though the Fishery Department has been earning a sizeable amount from these areas, they have nevertheless not done anything to prevent encroachment nor to evict the existing encroachers. As a result, the situation has turned from bad to worse with every passing day.
The Barpeta district administration too has been turning a blind eye to encroachment in the grazing reserve. If the situation is allowed to continue, soon there will be no reserve left, thereby pushing the cattle rearers to poverty and uncertainty.