Guwahati: As per the direction of the Guwahati High Court, the Assam government will carry out a huge eviction drive in Lumding area of Hojai district to clear the encroachment in Lumding Reserve forest. The Guwahati High court on 30th September 2021 directed the Assam government to clear the encroachment in the reserve forest in phase manner. A PIL was filed in the High Court by former MLA of Hojai Shiladitya Dev appealing the court to clear the huge encroachment in the reserve forest which is a large inhabited area of wild elephants and other wild animals. Passing a judgment on the PIL, the High Court directed the state government to evict the illegal settlers.
Assam government in its affidavit submitted in the High Court informed that nearly 1400 hectares of land are being encroached in the reserve forest. The court in its order directed the state government to clear the encroachment in three phases. Court ordered the state government to carry out the first eviction drive in October-November for 5 days. Likewise the second eviction drive to be carried out in November-December and the final and 3rd eviction drive to be carried out by January-February in 2022. As per the directive of the High Court, the Assam government will carry out the first eviction drive on Monday (08/11/21) Nakhuti area in the reserve forest. Former MLA of Hojai Siladitya Dev, who filed the PIL in the high court seeking eviction in the reserve forest, told "Organiser" that though the government data suggest that there are around 8000 encroachers in the forest, the actual numbers is around 16000 to 20000. Out of these 98 percent are illegal migrants or Bangladeshi. He said from 2007, during the
Congress rule, hundreds of Muslim families stated encroaching the reserve forest.
From 2007 to 2015 2000 plus families settled in the reserve forest and started cultivating ginger and turmeric there. They build several villages out there and keep expanding their encroachment. These people are now becoming voters of the constituency and they have changed the demography of the Lumding constituency. The Assam government is taking utmost precaution to evart any unwanted incident like in Dhalpur-Gorukhuti. Nearly 2000 police and para military forces have been deployed in the area. After the court order several hundreds of encroachers' families had moved out of the reserve forest, a government official said in Hojai. The state government held several rounds of discussions with Muslim organisations to coroporate with the eviction drive carried out as per the order of the High Court. On Monday the Hojai district administration will carry out an eviction drive in 500 hectares of land in the Nakhuti area of the reserve forest.