Congress leader Debabrata Saikia to move SC In Bogapani Eviction Drive

Guwahati: The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader and Leader of the opposition party Debabrata Saikia criticised the Tinsukia district government on Sunday for allegedly intimidating locals in Bogapani locality of Digboi in the name of the eviction drive.

This follows an eviction campaign that Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) conducted at Bogapani last Wednesday.

Saikia claimed that he had previously submitted a PIL before the Gauhati High Court requesting formulation of a rehabilitation policy for evicting people from government land by the administration while highlighting the Dholpur eviction drive by the Assam government in the month of September last year.

“I was not satisfied with the Gauhati High Court’s verdict and thus, I will soon be moving to the Supreme Court of India seeking a proper formulation of a rehabilitation policy for evicting people from government land,” said Saikia to the media in Bogapani.

The Congress leader also brought up the 1985 ruling in the case of Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation, which held that evicting pavement dwellers with excessive force and without giving them an opportunity to defend themselves is unconstitutional.

Saikia gave another example, saying that Delhi Congress representative Ajay Maken had petitioned the top court earlier in 2020 for the rehabilitation of slum residents living next to railway lines in Delhi.

“In the application, the Congress leader had asked the top court to direct the Indian Railways, Delhi Government to rehabilitate the slum dwellers prior to eviction of their residences. Thereafter, the court in its verdict directed the administration and the Indian Railways to keep an eye on the basic human needs including education, health, and food prior to eviction drives. But in Bogapani, there was no step taken as such,” Saikia said.

“How will the students prepare themselves for the Higher Secondary examination starting from Monday?” adding, “Law is made to help the people not to torture them. The same law cannot be set up as per the convenience of the administration,” Saikia said showing concern for the students.

Moreover, Saikia criticised Digboi MLA Suren Phukan for allegedly saying that there were numerous suspicious Bengali speakers from Bangladesh who had unlawfully moved into the Bogapani locality.

“Such statements by a local MLA have forced the Indian citizens residing in Bogapani locality to suffer. I am sure the BJP leader has targeted the Bengali speaking people. I don’t know what made him to utter that. The Congress party is always in favour of deportation of illegal migrants as per the Assam Accord, but, the people who are being termed as illegal migrants are railway employees and they are staying here since ages, how can they be illegal migrants?” Saikia questioned at last.

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