Assam eviction drive violence: HC directs state government to file detailed affidavit



The government of Assam has been directed by the Gauhati High Court to file a detailed affidavit within three weeks on the eviction drive in Darrang district last month.

Following a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Debabrata Saikia, a senior Congress leader, and another suo motu petition, a division bench comprising Justices N. Kotiswar Singh and Manish Choudhury issued the order. The bench fixed the next date of hearing on November 3.

"The court took the matter seriously and directed the state government to respond to its policy regarding evictions and rehabilitation. The court rejected the advocate general's contention that the petition was politically motivated, since I am the leader of opposition in assembly", petitioner Saikia said.

Saikia also appealed for a time-bound inquiry under the investigation of the High Court into the deaths and injuries caused during the eviction drive at Garukhuti in Sipajhar area.

On September 23, two persons, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed and 20 others were injured in clashes between security forces and alleged encroachers during an eviction drive in villages under the Sipajhar revenue circle.

In the PIL, Saikia asked for the court's intervention on mandatory social impact assessment, meaningful consultation with evicted persons and to ensure that the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, is followed.

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