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KAAC eviction drive turns violent at Balijan


DIMAPUR, JANUARY 30: The eviction drive carried out by Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC), in Block No 3 at Balijan in Lahorijan (Karbi Anglong) at Assam-Nagaland border on Sunday saw stiff resistance and protest from the residents, who demanded to know why such steps were taken despite a ‘stay order’ from the Court.
Officials of the KAAC, police and security personnel began the eviction drive early Sunday morning with a large fleet of JCBs and dismantled several thatch and semi-pucca houses before the resident protested with placards and slogans.
According to sources, the protest turned violent as people pelted stones at the eviction officials. The security personnel resorted to blank firing, lathi charge and used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Sources informed that Officer-in-charge of Khatkhati Police Station was hit with a stone on the head and was injured. A cameraman of Prag TV also sustained injuries.
The residents of the area were angered by the KAAC’s eviction drive, as most of them had obtained a ‘stay order’ from the Court. They even requested the KAAC officials to wait for the Court ruling, which had filed February 2, 2022 as the next hearing, but the officials went ahead with the eviction drive.
In that particular Balijan-Khan Basti area, houses were marked “High Court” and court orders pasted on the walls. However, those without the marking were demolished.
The residents also complained that no notice was served about today’s eviction drive ~ as such most of their belongings were left inside their houses. While some people managed to take out household items, some were seen collecting them after demolition of their houses.
A man, who lost his house, said that he has been staying in the area for almost 20 years now and since his house has been demolished, he has now no place to go. “Will anybody provide me a house?” he asked.
Sources also informed that a church was also demolished while some construction near a mosque was also damaged.
Sources said that a total of 134 houses were targeted to be dismantled in the eviction drive but 34 of them had obtained ‘Stay Order’ from the Court.
It may be mentioned that in December last year, the KAAC carried out another round of eviction in the Dudu colony area of Lahorijan Block 3, under BorjanMouza of Bokajan Sub-Division, just near Nagaland Gate.
The Department had dismantled around 115 dwelling units, including concrete structures and makeshift huts spread across an area covering around 100 bighas of KAAC revenue land.
As per official record of the KAAC Land and Revenue Department, a total of 210 bighas of Government land have been occupied by doubtful individuals in the area.
The December 20 drive, however, could clear only 100 bighas of this land as some residents obtained a stay injunction of Gauhati High Court.
(Page News Service)