The narrator of the story (identity withheld on request and due to security reasons)was among hundreds of people, belonging to the minority Chakma tribe who have been forcefully evicted in month of June and rendered homeless and, now faces an uncertain future in their own state. In this podcast he tells us the circumstances under which 41 families that constituted Sibinosora village, Tuichung, Mizoram have been forcibly evicted by members of the Mizo Zirlai Paul(MZP), the apex Mizo Students Body with the support of the Mizoram police.

He tells us that Sibinosora village was formed in the year 1984 where these families from the neighbouring clusters of villages got together to settle down in this new forest area in search of new agricultural lands and better means of livelihood. The permission of the relevant village council authorities was sought and obtained. And, the then Forest Minister of Mizoram had facilitated this.

In the early 1990s when the government of Mizoram had introduced the New Land Use Policy (NLUP) programme (whose primary aim was to introduce new land use methods for helping these forest dwellers integrate into sustainable methods of agriculture and allied activities), Sibinosora village was also selected for wide implementation of this government scheme. That the state government’s flagship programme NLUP was implemented by the state authorities in this village is indicative of the fact that the establishment of the village had the government authorities’ sanction.

However, a few months ago the adjoining Mizo villagers objected to the existence of this village and termed it as an illegal village. After that Mizo civil society groups such as the MZP and YMA had facilitated their forced eviction and the Mizoram police back this illegal drive against the chakma villagers. Their houses and properties were torched down, and they were forced to leave behind all their projects developed under the government’s NLUP scheme. At present, they have found temporary shelter in one neighboring chakma village and face an uncertain future.

The evictee ardently appeals to the government of Mizoram to restore possession of their lands from which they have been forcibly driven out. Further, he demands that proper compensation be paid for the loss of lands, property and fruit bearing/standing crops/ agricultural lands that they have been illegally and forcibly dispossessed off.

Original source