Despite the protests, Assam government has maintained its tough stand on the eviction drive near Kaziranga National Park (KNP). The government has declared that this drive will continue till the famed national park is completely freed of illegal encroachers. It may be mentioned that two people were killed from police firing during the protest against the eviction.
One member commission to investigate
The government has formed a one member commission to probe into the incident. The commission will have Rajiv Bora, Additional Chief Secretary and it will submit its report within three months. The government also appealed to the people and all parties and organisations not to give this incident a communal colour. It said that stern action will be taken against those forces suspected to have a role in the development.
HC refuses to interfere
Meanwhile, Gauhati High Court refused to interfere in the eviction drive. A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Paran Kumar Phukan after hearing a writ petition filed by one Md Jalal Uddin and three others from Bandardubi in Nagaon district against the eviction drive, also refused to grant relief sought by the petitioners in this regard.
The court held that in its earlier judgement delivered on 9.10.15, it was clearly declared that since the area falls within the definition of ‘forest land’ and the mandate of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 applied to such category of land, the habitation in Bandardubi earmarked for social forestry project, is illegal and is legally impermissible.
Justice Roy further observed that the Division Bench earlier had also noted that public interest requires clearance of the national park from all the encroachers and accordingly, the concerned petition was dismissed.