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Another eviction drive in Assam to clear encroached forest land

Guwahati, Feb 14 (IANS) The Assam government on Tuesday launched another eviction drive in Sonitpur and Nagaon districts to clear 1,900 hectares of encroached forest land, an official said.

Over 2,000 security personnel, including paramilitary, Home Guards, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Assam Police, have been stationed in the Char-Chapori area of the Burhachapori wildlife sanctuary region for ensuring a smooth eviction drive.

At least 50 excavators and 30 tractors would be used in the eviction exercise, an official said.

Around 2,500 establishments including houses and schools have come up on 1,900 hectares of land, a government official said.

Sonitpur district Superintendent of Police, Sushanta Biswa Sarma told IANS: “We have started the eviction and it will continue for the next three days.”

According to officials, ‘illegal’ settlers were served notice a few days ago to vacate the encroached land.

“At least 80 per cent of the people who had earlier encroached on the land, destroyed the illegal structures by themselves and left the place. We did not face any sort of resentment while carrying out the eviction drive,” a police officer said.

Last month, an eviction exercise took place in the Paboi Reserve Forest area.