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2.3L bighas: Bodo leaders give stats on encroachment

Author: Rajib Chatterjee
Publication: The Indian Express
Dated: September 12, 2012
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/2.3l-bighas-bodo-leaders-give-stats-on-encroachment/1001177/

The Bodoland People’s Front, the party in control of the Bodoland Territorial Council, says over 39,000 non-tribal people, mainly illegal immigrants, have settled on 2.32 lakh bighas of government khas land in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts area. The party has cited these statistics in a list that The Indian Express has accessed from a senior leader.

“Most of the encroachers are illegal immigrants. We demand immediate recovery of khas land under the possession of the encroachers,” said BPF leader Darao Narzary. “If no action is taken the Bodoland Citizens’ Forum will move the Gauhati High Court. The illegal possession of tribal land by non-tribals is the reason behind the recent ethnic violence in the four BTAD districts. We have collected the details from the headquarters of the four districts, which shows that the government had full knowledge of land being grabbed but took no action,” he said.

BTC chief executive Hagrama Mohilary too expressed concern over encroachment by “people who are mostly Bangladeshi immigrants”. On Tuesday too, when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi toured relief camps, Mohilary said once again that only those with valid documents would be rehabilitated.

The issue of alleged encroachment has been the stumbling block at recent peace meetings with the Bodo leadership insisting that only recovery of the land can ensure lasting peace. “If the land is not cleared immediately, peace will not last in Bodoland,” Narzary said.
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