State officials evict Bodo Households in Nalpara, Guwahati; All Bodo Students’ Union protest

Reported by

Emilo Yanthan

Legal Data by

Anmol Gupta, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Radhika Chatterjee

Updated by

Published on

July 21, 2022

July 21, 2022

Updated on

July 21, 2022

Location of Conflict

Guwahati

Nalpara, Gorchuk

Kamrup

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Forest Administration (Other than Protected Areas)

Forced eviction

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

300

Households Affected by Conflict

45

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2022

State

Assam

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

On 31st January, 2022, officials of the forest department carried out an eviction drive in Nalpara, Guwahati in the settlements of Bodo people. During the drive, state officials damaged residents' houses and assets and asked them to vacate the area, even though they had been residing in the area for many years. All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU) claimed that the eviction was carried out forcefully and no prior notice was issued to the people. The reason cited by officials for the eviction drive was that people were residing in the area illegitimately. Forty five families, most belonging to Bodo community were affected by this eviction drive. Following which they were forced to take refuge in temporary camps.

Rohini Ballav Saikia, divisional forest officer of Kamrup (East), in his statement to Scroll.in mentioned that the officials removed settlements of only those families who were trying to make fresh encroachments on lands of Guwahati’s Fatasil Reserved Forest.

Dipen Boro, President, ABSU, in a letter to the state Chief Minister, stated “The families of the Nalpara have been living there since long years back. The possessed land is donated by an NGO- ‘Regional centre for human resource development and social welfare organisation'. Unfortunately, on January 31, 2022 forest department vandalised their houses damaging their properties and warned to evacuate the place.” ABSU claimed that there were other illegal migrants who had been residing in the same area but they had been exempted from the eviction. They demanded that the affected families should be rehabilitated in the same area, compensated and granted land pattas.

The Assistant Education Secretary of ABSU, Romeo Kr. Basumatary told LCW that ABSU and other Bodo organisations who took up the issue on behalf of the evicted families. He further mentioned that Dr. Ranoj Pegu, the Cabinet Minister for welfare of plain tribes of Assam government, called ABSU to talk about the issue on May 24, 2022. In response to the memorandum submitted by ABSU, the Government of Assam assured them that affected households would be provided alternate piece of land and monetary compensation. However, Mr. Basumatary told LCW that as of July 2022, state officials are yet to provide rehabilitation to the evicted families.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for rehabilitation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

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

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 2(o) [Definition of other forest dweller to include any community residing in or depending on the forestland for at least 3 generations prior to 2005], Section 3 [Forest rights of forest-dwelling tribes to include right for conversion of pattas or leases or grant of title for forest land by State Government. Such rights also include right to in situ rehabilitation, including alternative land, if traditional forest-dwelling tribes have been illegally evicted or displaced from forestland] Section 4(5) [Forest-dwelling tribes may not be evicted from occupied forestland before registration and verification process is complete]
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
Section (3)(1)(g) [Wrongful dispossession of a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe from his land or interference with the enjoyment of his rights over any land shall lead to punishment]
Indian Forest Act, 1927
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    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.

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    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

Scheduled Tribe status or lack of status

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

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:

Displacement

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

45 families from Bodo community were evicted illegally from Nalpara, Guwahati. In this eviction 300 people became victims to the eviction drive and lost their homes. The affected people were forced to take shelter in temporary camps.

Date of Violation

January 30, 2022

Location of Violation

Nalpara, Guwahati

Nature of Protest

Media-based activism/alternative media

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Forest Department, Kamrup

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:

All Bodo Students' Union

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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