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Encroachers Clash With Assam Police During Eviction Drive In Dhubri

Several alleged encroachers were detained after the clash with police in Dhubri.

Assam: A man searches his belongings near the demolished houses during an agitation against the anti-encroachment drive, in Darrang on , Sep 24. Image used for representational purposes. (ANI Photo)

Dhubri: Assam police on Thursday detained several alleged encroachers after they clashed with the cops during an eviction drive in Assam’s Dhubri town. According to police officers, several alleged encroachers pelted stones on police vehicles and vandalised machines used for eviction during the drive of Railway and district administration in New Ghat area.

Deputy Commissioner Ambamuthan MP and Superintendent of Police Abhijit Gaurav Dilip brought the situation under control. After the violent incident, the eviction drive was postponed and the next date of the drive is yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, police are examining CCTV footages to identify those behind the incident, Dilip said.

The Assam government which began an eviction drive back in September 2021, has so far covered areas like Gorukhuti and Sipajhar in Darrang district and a reserve forest in Hojai district’s Lumding. In November 2021, the government officials aided by four companies of CRPF, 1000 security personnel, excavators, elephants and other heavy machinery cleared encroachments in over 22,400-hectare Lumding Reserve Forest.

The state government’s eviction drive has been far from peaceful and in areas like Gorukhuti, clashes led to the death of two people after police resorted to firing.

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According to state government officials, nearly 1,400 hectares of the forest were encroached in which nearly 1,500 families dwelled. These illegal settlers have been cultivating turmeric and ginger in the area and had even built a school in these areas.

During an eviction drive in Darrang district’s Sipajhar area on September 23, 2021 violence had broken out in which thousands of people gheraoed Assam Police after which the cops retaliated. According to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the drive was carried out with the agreement of representatives of the people being evicted.

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Sarma said that 11 police personnel were injured in the violence during the eviction drive.

According to Assam CM Sarma, several businessmen have illegally encroached forest areas in Dhubri and Barpeta districts for commercial farming.