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

Reported by

Abdul Kalam Azad

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

October 26, 2016

October 26, 2016

Updated on

October 26, 2016

Location of Conflict

Hatimuria

Morigaon

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Natural Calamities

Ethnic conflicts

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1440

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

45

ha

Starting Year

1998

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.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand for rehabilitation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

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?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Procedural Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Disaster Management Act, 2005
Section 2(e)(viii) [Disaster management includes rehabilitation]; Section 46 [Use of National Disaster Response Fund to rehabilitate victims]
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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:

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

The houses of the displaced people have been destroyed by the revenue department during eviction. The displaced people once again are made homeless. Government has not taken any step to relocate and rehabilitate the victims. Before the eviction, the hostile host community restricted the movement of the IDPs which severely affected the education of the children, hampered the day to day business of the IDPs.

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Development of a network or collective

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Department of Revenue

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:

Prabajan Virodhi Manch, All Assam Minority Students' Union

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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