In the affidavit, the BJP government has also categorically said that the evicted families of Dhalpur-Gorukuti will not be compensated as they are encroachers according to the law and policy of the government.
Guwahati: Assam government has informed the Guwahati High Court that evicted people in Dhalpur in Darrang district are encroachers, and the state government will provide no compensation to them. In an affidavit submitted in the Guwahati High Court in response to a notice served to the Assam government by the High court, the state government stated that it has earmarked 134 acres of land to rehabilitate the displaced families of Gorukhuti in Dholpur of Darrang district provided they are valid citizens India.
In response to the notice issued by the Guwahati High court while hearing a PIL filed by Leader of the Opposition and Congress MLA Debabrata Saikia and a suo moto PIL admitted by the court regarding violence during the eviction on September 26. The hearing took place on November 3, and the matter is being heard by the bench, headed by Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Kakheto Sema.
In the affidavit submitted in the High Court, the state government said that other than a valid citizenship issue, there were other requirements while rehabilitating those evicted persons and families to a new government area. The state government wants to make sure whether these people are flood and soil erosion affected and landless.
"An area of about 1,000 bighas (about 134 hectares) of land in the southern part of No 1 & No 3 Dholpur village has been earmarked for relocating the evicted persons subject to verification of the status of erosion affected and landless status in their respective original places and districts, citizenship and existing rehabilitation policy of the state," the affidavit by the government said.
Sipajhar Revenue Circle Officer of Darrang district Kamaljeet Sarma represented the Assam government. The official informed the court that the occupants of the areas were encroachers and under the Assam Land and Revenue Regulation Act, 1886. So they were liable to be evicted by the state government. He told the court that the entire case was related to the eviction of encroached land and that the state government did not acquire land. Hence, the question of resettlement, rehabilitation, compensation, etc., as per the Land Acquisition Act, doesn't arise.
The government has further told the court that families evicted from encroached land in Dholpur are not erosion affected migrants as claimed in the PIL. Hence, they are not eligible for any benefit under Assam Rehabilitation Policy 2020. "The claim that the occupants of Dholpur Char and their ancestors were forced to migrate from their respective original place of residence due to devastating floods and land erosion does not exist in the revenue files," the affidavit said.
The state government further informed the High Court that no coercive measures are being taken to evict the remaining encroachment in the Dhalpur areas. Efforts are being made to convince encroachers to vacate the demarcated area voluntarily. The officer explained to the court that under the rule of the government of Assam if any family is displaced and forced to migrate to other places due to flood and soil erosion, such displaced families are issued a certificate by the concerned revenue circle. He informed the court there is no record of such certificates produced by these encroachers and their forefathers.
The High court has granted a week to the Assam government to file a detailed counter affidavit and fixed December 14 for the next hearing on the matter.