Assam CM: Eviction will continue against illegal occupants of Goalpara Forest

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday declared that the eviction campaign would resume in the Goalpara reserve forest area.

Speaking to the media, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “This government will be with the law of the land…we don’t want vote, hence it is better to stay with the law.”

The chief minister further asserted that in order to reallocate people and prevent encroachment on the forest land, he had requested the MLAs of the Goalpara district to reach a compromise.

“They will have to discuss the matter with the administration and the high court to find out a way to save the people…without thinking of an alternative if the legislators walk up to the high court it would not help any people from the eviction drive,” he added.

Moreover, Himanta Biswa Sarma argued against growing rubber in places designated as forest reserves.

“People of Goalpara have planted sal or Sagwan (Teak) tree, there are many ways of income but not at the cost of forest reserve,” he added.

Earlier Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Assam’s state government will halt the eviction process when the President of India intervened.

Badruddin Ajmal wrote President Droupadi Murmu asking for her help in stopping the eviction; in response, CM Sarma responded that Assam evictions take occur in accordance with the high court’s judgement.

“We only follow the high court and Supreme court’s order while carrying out the eviction process in Assam. It is only the high court that directs us to clear forest land and others. If the President can interfere in it I have no problem with that. Even I don’t like the eviction process,” he said.

Sarma added that if the President steps in to intervene in the process, he will not object because the high court has directed the Assam government to carry out the eviction from the Goalpara forest property.

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