Kaziranga was declared a national park in 1974. The park is famous for its population of onehorned rhinos. Following a large number of rhino poaching incidents in the national park, the Guahati High Court passed an order in 2015, directing authorities to evacuate people living in the vicinity of the park, which spreads across Golaghat, Sonitpur and Nagaon districts. The residents have opposed the move as the government has not assured them any compensation for the loss of land and livelihood. They are being backed by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, a local organisation. The villages in these districts that will be affected by the court order are Bandardubi, Deochurchang and Palkhowa. On September 19, 2016, the state carried out the eviction drive in these villages. Houses, temples, mosques and schools were demolished. A total of 331 houses were reportedly razed to the ground, of which 35 families had land rights. Protests against the demolition led to police firing, in which two civilians were killed and 18 persons, including police personnel, were injured. Subsequently, a review petition filed by villagers demanding compensation before the eviction was rejected by the Gauhati High Court as it decided to not intervene in the matter. The court, instead, upheld its earlier judgement that the villagers facing eviction were encroachers. As per a news report, the state had earlier decided to compensate the affected families on humanitarian grounds, but the latter rejected the compensation offered. Following the court's response, the National Human Rights Commission and the Assam Human Rights Commission took up suo motu cognizance of the incident and demanded the state government to submit a report in 30 days after conducting a highlevel probe. Several activists, opposition members and news reports alleged that the state government mismanaged the eviction drive, targeted the marginalised and used undue force. They claimed that the drive was targeted at Muslim households of East Bengal origins, many of whom were accused of being "illegal infiltrators". On September 20, 2016, the All Assam Minority Students' Union (AAMSU) organised a _bandh _(strike) to protest against the evictions and alleged targeting of the minority community. Protests were held in New Delhi too. Since then, the eviction rate had slowed down, but picked up pace again in 2020, with the government issuing fresh eviction notices. Moreover, in September 2020, the state further approved another 30 square kilometres to be included in the boundary of the national park, which has angered the local people. Currently, at least 662 families living around the park face the threat of eviction.
Demand for rehabilitation, Demand for legal recognition of land rights, Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources, Demand for compensation
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?
Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict
Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Constitutional Law
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, Non-implementation/violation of the FRA, Forced evictions/ Dispossession of Land
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)
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Whether criminal law was used against protestors
Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?
Reported Details of the Violation:
Two persons were killed in police firing during an eviction drive in Bandardubi village, and 18 others were injured.
Date of Violation
September 19, 2016
Location of Violation
Nature of Protest
Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Strikes, Protests/marches
Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:
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?
Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti