The Telegraph
Friday , February 10 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Panel faces records hurdle

Feb. 9: The inquiry committee constituted by Kamrup (metro) district administration to probe the alleged encroachment of land of Lachitgarh, said it was facing problems because of lack of proper demarcation of areas of the historical site.

As a result, they would require more time to submit the report to the administration.

“We have visited the areas for a thorough probe into alleged encroachment of land but as there are no proper records available with the archaeology department. Hence, we are facing problems regarding which land has been encroached upon. As the fort falls in three revenue circles Guwahati, Dispur and Azara we have sought documents relating to the fort. So we will require more time to study the documents and identify the encroachment, if any,” a committee member said.

The district administration on Saturday constituted a committee headed by additional DC (revenue) Dhrubajyoti Das, circle officers of Dispur and Azara revenue circles and one officer from the state archaeology directorate.

The committee was asked to submit its report within three days to deputy commissioner Ashutosh Agnihotri.

The committee member said residents of the area and NGOs had alleged encroachment and they were verifying their land documents.

Lachitgarh or Lachit Fort, constructed during the times of Ahom commander Lachit Borphukan to stop the invasion of Mughals around the year 1670, is situated in south-western part of Guwahati.

Most of the fort falls in the Gorchuk area on the city outskirts.

According to historians, Borphukan had constructed at least 11 such forts in the city during the Ahom-Mughal conflict.

The committee was formed following allegations by Bir Lachit Sena, a local pressure group, about largescale encroachment and constructions coming up in the area.

The state archaeology department in December wrote to the district administration, seeking steps to clear the encroachment so that it could take up preservation measures at the historical site.

“We want to include Lachitgarh on the list of 96 new sites where we want to take up for preservation. But we are unable to do so because of encroachments. Even Gorchuk police station is situated on the historical rampart. We have clearly mentioned to the DC that we don’t have any records and urged them to probe the encroachments,” the director of state archaeology department, H.N. Dutta, told The Telegraph today.

Prabin Chandra Das, a guest lecturer in the folklore department of Gauhati University, spearheading a public campaign for its protection said, “There is largescale encroachment because of lack of proper steps by the government.”

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