Assam Government Evicts People Displaced from Char Areas by Floods, Erosion

Reported by

Abdul Kalam AzadLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

March 31, 2021

Location of Conflict

Hatimuria

,

Morigaon

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Natural Calamities

Ethnic conflicts

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1440

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

45

ha

State

Assam

Sector

Land Use

In Assam, thousands of people are displaced every year by flood and erosion caued by the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries. An estimated seven per cent land in the state has been eroded between 1950 and 2000, resulting in the displacement of impoverished people across the Brahmaputra valley. Till 2015, the government did not have any policy in place to rehabilitate the victims of riverbank erosion. Hence, the erosioninduced internally displaced persons (IDPs) are forced to occupy government land, embankments and forestland and sometimes even take private land on lease for setting up shelter. In 1998, about 300 IDPs from the _char _(riverine areas of the Brahmaputra) area in Darrang district took shelter in Hatimuria village in nearby Morigaon district. All the families were Muslims. They were offered shelter by the Hindu residents of Hatimuria on humanitarian grounds and were expected to vacate the land once the flood got over. But the Muslim families did not give up the land and worked out a deal with the Hindu residents to get a yearly plot of land on lease during floods. After the 2014 general election, Prabajan Virodhi Manch, an antiimmigrant organisation, submitted a report to the Supreme Court mentioning that Hatimuria village has been illegally occupied and was being used as grazing grounds by suspected Bangladeshis. The report and the media frenzy on the claims resulted in clashes between the IDPs and the Hindu residents. The district administration of both Darrang and Morigaon stepped in and tried to mitigate the conflict. The Morigaon district administration asked the IDPs to relocate to a nearby _char _called Hiloikhunda, which falls in Darrang district. Subsequently, the IDPs moved to the new _char, _but the residents of Hatimuria claim that the new _char _also belongs to them and is being used for grazing and cultivation. A 2015 report of the Asian Centre for Human Rights claimed that Assam hosts the highest number of conflictinduced IDPs in the world. Authorities routinely evict these IDPs under the pretext of clearing governmentowned or common land from encroachers. In 2016, the revenue department of Assam started forcefully evicting the IDPs. The first eviction drive was conducted in August and the second drive was conducted in November 2016. While some of the IDPs have returned to their original _char, _others have migrated to new places.

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

45

ha

Starting Year

1998

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights, Demand for rehabilitation

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Department of Revenue

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Prabajan Virodhi Manch, All Assam Minority Students' Union

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Reporting on the Biodiversity Crisis in India: A journalism bootcamp

Join experts and journalists to understand and learn the tools to investigate and tell nuanced stories on the challenges faced by India’s biodiversity.
Apply Now