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Displaced by flood, indigenous peoples of Moran community await resettlement since the last three decades in Assam

Reported by

East Street Journal Asia

Legal Review by

Anmol Gupta

Edited by

Radhika Chatterjee

Updated by

Published on

June 25, 2023

June 27, 2023

Edited on

June 25, 2023

State

Assam

Sector

Land Use

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

24

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

3

ha

Starting Year

1992

Location of Conflict

Kordoiguri village

Bokpara, Tengoni Huji village

Tinsukia

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Natural Calamities

Illegal Encroachment of allocated government land by local businessmen

Land Conflict Summary

Over 24 families of the indigenous Moran communities of Assam remain displaced for more than three decades, living under temporary shelters and tarpaulin tents with women and children.

The families lost everything to the devastating flood and erosion by the Dangori River in the Kordoiguri village of Tinsukia in 1992. ** **

In June 2022, the Land Advisory Board of Tinsukia district, allotted alternate land to the affected families in Tengoni Huji village, around 20 kms away from their original village. Each family was allotted 1 Bigha (0.3 acre) land.

But the allotted lands were allegedly encroached upon by two local businessmen, Sriprakash Lahoti and Rupak Dutta. They set up tea plantations illegally in a large portion of the area. Lahoti further filed a civil suit in the district court against the government's decision. The court dismissed the suit and instructed the government departments to resettle the affected families.

Despite such directives, Sriprakash Lahoti returned to the land in question with tea garden laborers and forcefully evicted the eligible settlers from the land. And threatened them not to return.

While speaking to LCW, Lohit Moran, who is a representative of Kordoiguir Anchalik Yubak Sangha, a local grassroots organization, said, "Since 1992, more than 20 villages disappeared as a result of flood and erosion. In 2018, Padmadhar Moran died from flood erosion. It's so unfortunate that for more than 20 years, a vast amount of government land is being illegally encroached upon by local businessmen and other groups."

Bhaben Moran, one of the affected community members told LCW, "We need justice. We have lost all of our lands to flood erosion. Can you see under what conditions we are living in this school playground? We have given up on all our hopes. Please help us." 

Rubel Moran, who is among the 24 affected community members said, "Since 1992 flood and erosion have created a rampage in this Kordoiguri area of Tinsukia. We have lost our homes and land and since then we had to take shelter in the Kordoiguri High School and M.E school playground. The Government hasn't given us any resettlement yet. I don't remember the date, but the government shifted us to a place promising us resettlement in the Bokpara area, but sadly we were soon evicted from the area and forced to move back to the same place. These are hard times for us as we are daily wage workers and it's not easy for us to pay for the education of our children. Even during the festival of Bihu, when people share gifts, buy new clothes for families, we are left with no hope all. We demand the government provide us with proper compensation and resettlement."

Fact Sheet

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for compensation

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand for rehabilitation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Resettlement on the land allotted by the Government encroached by local businessmen

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

What was the action taken by the police?

How many people did the police detain or arrest?

What is the current status of the detained/accused persons?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

If any arrests took place, were the accused persons produced before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest?

If the accused was not produced before a magistrate within 24 hours, or not produced at all, what were the reasons?

Legislation under which the accused was charged

Was the accused person informed of their right to legal representation? Did the accused person have access to legal aid?

In cases where the accused person approached the court for bail, was bail granted?

Why was bail granted or rejected? If granted, what were the bail conditions and quantum of bail?

Were there any other notable irregularities that took place, or other significant details?

Details of sources (names of accused, names and numbers of any lawyers, names of any police officers contacted)

Status of Project

Original Project Deadline

Whether the Project has been Delayed

Significance of Land to Land Owners/Users

Residential area

Whether the project was stalled due to land conflict

Source/Reference

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Legal Data

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Assam Land and Revenue Regulation, 1886
Rule 18(2) [Deputy Commissioner may confiscate, sell or destroy any unauthorized crop or buildings erected on land and eject such persons from the land]
National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009
Para 8.5.1 [In the aftermath of any major disaster, the state government should generate temporary livelihood options for affected communities.] Para 8.6.1 [In the case of devastating disasters, temporary shelters should be created for affected communities.]
  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  3. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Yes

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Court of the Civil Judge, Tinsukia

Case Number

Title suit No. 29 of 2021

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

A case was filed by affected communities in the court of the local civil judge for the forcible eviction from their lands. The matter is yet to be taken up.

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Blackmail/threats/intimidation

Displacement

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

June 21, 2022

Location of Violation

Tengoni Huji village

Additional Information

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Doomdooma circle office, Deputy commissioner Tinsukia (ceiling & settlement branch), Land advisory board of Assam (Tinsukia)

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Moran Yuva Parishad, Kordoiguri Anchalik Yubak Sangha, Asom Moran Sabha (AMS)

Information on the use of criminal law

What was the action taken by the police?

How many people did the police detain or arrest?

What is the current status of the detained/accused persons?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

If any arrests took place, were the accused persons produced before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest?

If the accused was not produced before a magistrate within 24 hours, or not produced at all, what were the reasons?

Legislation under which the accused was charged

Was the accused person informed of their right to legal representation? Did the accused person have access to legal aid?

In cases where the accused person approached the court for bail, was bail granted?

Why was bail granted or rejected? If granted, what were the bail conditions and quantum of bail?

Were there any other notable irregularities that took place, or other significant details?

Resources

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Images

A photograph of a toddler living under temporary makeshift tents with their families

Image Credit:  

East Street Journal Asia

A man from the indigenous Moran community displaced by floods at Kordoiguri village in the Tinsukia district of Assam

Image Credit:  

Lohit Moran

Video

East Street Journal Asia

Over 24 families of the indigenous Moran communities of Assam remain displaced for more than three decades, living under temporary shelters and tarpaulin tents with women and children.

The families lost everything to the devastating flood and erosion by the Dangori River in the Kordoiguri village of Tinsukia in 1992. ** **

In June 2022, the Land Advisory Board of Tinsukia district, allotted alternate land to the affected families in Tengoni Huji village, around 20 kms away from their original village. Each family was allotted 1 Bigha (0.3 acre) land.

But the allotted lands were allegedly encroached upon by two local businessmen, Sriprakash Lahoti and Rupak Dutta. They set up tea plantations illegally in a large portion of the area. Lahoti further filed a civil suit in the district court against the government's decision. The court dismissed the suit and instructed the government departments to resettle the affected families.

Despite such directives, Sriprakash Lahoti returned to the land in question with tea garden laborers and forcefully evicted the eligible settlers from the land. And threatened them not to return.

While speaking to LCW, Lohit Moran, who is a representative of Kordoiguir Anchalik Yubak Sangha, a local grassroots organization, said, "Since 1992, more than 20 villages disappeared as a result of flood and erosion. In 2018, Padmadhar Moran died from flood erosion. It's so unfortunate that for more than 20 years, a vast amount of government land is being illegally encroached upon by local businessmen and other groups."

Bhaben Moran, one of the affected community members told LCW, "We need justice. We have lost all of our lands to flood erosion. Can you see under what conditions we are living in this school playground? We have given up on all our hopes. Please help us." 

Rubel Moran, who is among the 24 affected community members said, "Since 1992 flood and erosion have created a rampage in this Kordoiguri area of Tinsukia. We have lost our homes and land and since then we had to take shelter in the Kordoiguri High School and M.E school playground. The Government hasn't given us any resettlement yet. I don't remember the date, but the government shifted us to a place promising us resettlement in the Bokpara area, but sadly we were soon evicted from the area and forced to move back to the same place. These are hard times for us as we are daily wage workers and it's not easy for us to pay for the education of our children. Even during the festival of Bihu, when people share gifts, buy new clothes for families, we are left with no hope all. We demand the government provide us with proper compensation and resettlement."

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for compensation

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand for rehabilitation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Resettlement on the land allotted by the Government encroached by local businessmen

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Assam Land and Revenue Regulation, 1886
Rule 18(2) [Deputy Commissioner may confiscate, sell or destroy any unauthorized crop or buildings erected on land and eject such persons from the land]
National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009
Para 8.5.1 [In the aftermath of any major disaster, the state government should generate temporary livelihood options for affected communities.] Para 8.6.1 [In the case of devastating disasters, temporary shelters should be created for affected communities.]
  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  3. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Yes

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Court of the Civil Judge, Tinsukia

Case Number

Title suit No. 29 of 2021

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

A case was filed by affected communities in the court of the local civil judge for the forcible eviction from their lands. The matter is yet to be taken up.

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Blackmail/threats/intimidation

Displacement

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

June 21, 2022

Location of Violation

Tengoni Huji village

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Doomdooma circle office, Deputy commissioner Tinsukia (ceiling & settlement branch), Land advisory board of Assam (Tinsukia)

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

The circle officer of Doomdooma revenue circle, Rananamay Bhardwaj stated that the process of land allocation is underway, and that the Tinsukia Civil Court is hearing the matter.

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Moran Yuva Parishad, Kordoiguri Anchalik Yubak Sangha, Asom Moran Sabha (AMS)

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
A photograph of a toddler living under temporary makeshift tents with their families

A photograph of a toddler living under temporary makeshift tents with their families

Image Credit:  

East Street Journal Asia

A photograph of a toddler living under temporary makeshift tents with their families

A man from the indigenous Moran community displaced by floods at Kordoiguri village in the Tinsukia district of Assam

Image Credit:  

Lohit Moran

East Street Journal Asia

Documented By

Text Link

Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch

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