Migrants Illegally Occupy Land and Displace Farmers

What is affected
Housing private
Land Private
Type of violation Forced eviction
Date 22 January 2009
Region A [ Asia ]
Country India
Location Mangaldoi, Darrang District, Assam

Affected persons

Total 500
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution
Forced eviction
Land losses

- Land area (square meters)

- Total value

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

Brief narrative Article: "Migrants rob farmers of land and subsistence" printed February 11 by the Telegraph India (Calcutta edition) found at http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090212/jsp/northeast/story_10516186.jsp


"Feb. 11: Illegal migrants have occupied over 500 bighas [1 bigha in Assam =1337.8 sq. m] of riverine farmland in Mangaldoi, building huts and planting trees overnight and making the real owners look like unwanted visitors.

Farmers from five agricultural societies of greater Kurua area said the public grazing reserve on Phuratoli char have entirely been encroached upon by illegal migrants.

Mukunda Das, a 50-year-old peasant, said since this is the season of sowing rabi crops, if the migrants were not evicted immediately, it would effect the next harvest.

Five agricultural societies — Na-Gogain Bura Gohain Krishi Samabai Samitee, Kurua Krishak Samabai Samittee, Brahmaputra Anninata Samabai Samitee, Sankar Samaj Samittee and Hajo, Banshar, Khalihoi Sambai Samitte — were forced to abandon their farms after the encroachers took over.

“We have informed the entire matter to the local administration but they have not taken a step towards eviction. We are really feeling helpless,” said Das.

Between January 22 and February 1, the migrants trickled into the char areas and built their homes and hearths on other people’s land.

Not all had to force their way into the land though.

Some took the opportunity of being invited to farm on the land by the original owners and slowly took over.

Dipali Das, for instance, handed over her 9-bigha plot to two persons to farm share-crops two years ago, but when the time came to reap, the shareholders refused to leave the land. A mother of two, Dipali has now lost her only mode of sustenance.

A few encroachers have even claimed that the owners have sold their land to them.

The simmering unrest in the char areas snowballed into a series of clashes between the farmers and the settlers last month.

Eight persons were injured, prompting the district administration to impose Section 144 in the areas.

The All Assam Students’ Union had long cautioned the government against the unabated encroachment at Phuhuratoli char near Kurua and demanded that the settlers be evicted.

“The current situation is the government’s anti-people policies. This needs to stop immediately,” the president of the Darrang unit of AASU, Monimoy Goswami, said."
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