DISPUR: Congress MP Abdul Khaleque has written to the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court urging him to take suo moto cognizance of the Assam government's move to evict thousands of settlers in over 77,000 bighas of government land amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Addressing media, Khaleque said, "At a dire time of COVID-19 crisis, the government's eviction in Sonitpur and Hojai is a violation of the Articles 21 and 39 of the Indian Constitution."
Khaleque further added that while evicting people from a plot of land, the government should make provisions to rehabilitate the evicted.
Stating that the Assam government has violated "human rights", Khaleque added that the current BJP-led government has shown a "two-faced" policy.
"I believe that encroachers should be evicted, but not at a time of a crisis," the MP stated, adding that the government should have given the farmers dwelling in the lands modern tools and amenities in order to help them increase their productivity.
Khaleque has also questioned why 'controversial' MLA Padma Hazarika has been instituted as the chairman of the committee formed to utilize the 'freed' land.
"Considering the COVID-19 Pandemic, a full bench of Hon'ble Gauhati High Court headed by Chief Justice, vide its order dated 10.05.2021 has ordered that any decree for eviction/ dispossession or demolition should remain in abeyance. But violating the High Court order the Sonipur and Hojai District administraton carried out eviction drive at Jamugurihat and Kaki," Khaleque later posted on his personal Twitter, also affixing a copy of his note to the Chief Justice.
"I request the Chief Justice of High court to initiate suo moto proceeding in order to restore the fundamental right to shelter of affected people," he wrote in another tweet.
The Assam cabinet yesterday decided to form a committee to utilize 77 thousand bighas of government land freed from encroachers at Gorukhuti, Sipajhar in Darrang for agricultural purposes.
The committee was formed under the chairmanship of MLA Padma Hazarika. MP Dilip Saikia, MLAs Mrinal Saikia, and Dr. Paramananda Rajbangshi will be other members of the committee while Secretary and Director Agriculture Vinod Seshan will act as Member Secretary.
The 77 thousand bigha land in question houses a population of nearly 40,000. The areas also have schools, medical sun centres, etc.
Notably, most of the people dwelling in these 'encroachments' belong to the minority Muslim community.
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