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Demand to drop projects

- All-Assam Tribal Sangha bid to protect land rights

Guwahati, Nov. 21: All-Assam Tribal Sangha and eight other organisations today opposed the setting up of the proposed headquarters of Indo-Tibetan Border Police battalion and project headquarters of National Disaster Response Force at Dimoria in Kamrup (metro) district.

At a news conference, the organisations demanded that the state government drop both the projects to protect the land belonging to indigenous communities living in the area or face a series of agitation.

They said the government is in the process of acquiring a large amount of land to set up these two projects.

The eight organisations are Dimoria Jila Tribal Sangha, Karbi Students Union, East Guwahati Bodo Students’ Union, Dimoria Tea Tribes Students’ Union, Inter-Dimoria Students’ Union, Tiwa Students Union (Kamrup), Jogdol Unnayan Samittee and Asom Sangrami Yuba Satra Santha.

“The indigenous people living in Guwahati moved to Dimoria when a portion of the belt was deconstituted. If the government keeps acquiring more land from the remaining portion of the belt in the name of setting up various projects, where these people will go?” asked Aditya Khakhlari, the general secretary of the Sangha.

Khakhlari said they suspected that state government was also planning to deconstitute the Dimoria area from the tribal belt.

Once this was done, there would be no restriction on buying land in the area by any community.

According to the organisations, the government is preparing to acquire 251 bighas of land at Panbari mauza in the area.

They said the state government acquired 315 bighas of land in the mauza in 2000 to set up an SSB camp and over 300 bighas to set up the Air Force Station, Digaru.

“Besides, the state government is also planning to acquire 1,000 bighas to set up Mini Assam, Science City and President Resort projects,” said Khakhlari.

The organisations submitted memoranda to chief minister Tarun Gogoi and governor J.B. Patnaik on the issue.

The organisations said the proposed projects would also affect the nearby Amchang wildlife sanctuary, the youngest sanctuary in the state.

With the expansion of the city, greater Dimoria has become one of the most preferred locations to set up various projects, both by state government and private entrepreneurs. Besides being close to the city, communication in the area is also good as National Highway 37 passes through it.

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