Adivasi Encroachers Evicted in Assam

Adivasi Encroachers Evicted in Assam
Guwahati/Ranchi | Oct 31, 2010
The Assam Forest Department today evicted some adivasi encroachers from the Lungsung area of Kokrajhar district, with Jharkhand Deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren saying he would take it up with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow.

Official sources in Guwahati said that forest guards destroyed the hutments to evict the dwellers and cleared the area.

The sources denied that the hutments were set ablaze.

In Ranchi, Soren alleged that around 400 hutments belonging to the Santhal community at Swaralpuara village under Bismuri police station in the Assam district were set ablaze by forest guards yesterday.

"As per the Forest Rights Act, tribals are to get land, and had the Santhals in Assam been given tribal status they would not have faced this situation now," he told a press conference.

Though 40 to 50 lakh Santhals had lived in Assam for between 50 and 100 years the Assam government had not given them tribal status, he said.

He said that his father and JMM chief Shibu Soren had during a visit to Assam demanded that Santhals be given tribal status following a clash between tribals and non-tribals in Guwahti two years ago.

"But there has been no response from the Assam government as yet. Tomorrow I will raise this issue before Prime Minister in New Delhi," he said.