The issue of illegal migrants has always remained the dominant woe for Assam. But this has taken a serious turn with as many as 26 lakh bighas of land being encroached upon.
The indigenous people of Assam are now apprehensive that they are on the verge of losing their rights and identity with infiltrators already encroaching into areas in at least 14 districts of Assam. Rampant encroachment has been reported from riverine islands or the char chapori areas that comprises of 4 percent of the total geographical area of the state.
26 lakh bighas of land in Assam comprising land areas of the historic Satras, hundreds of riverine islands, government lands are now under severe encroachment. Suspected illegal migrants are leaving no stone unturned to raise overnight settlements in lands owned by the indigenous or the government or any other institution. This is revealed by Hari Shankar Brahma, chairman of the Committee for protection of Land Rights of Indigenous People of Assam.
The HS Brahma-led committee which has tabled its report has recommended the Assam government to carry out a thorough study into the matter. Brahma further went on to say that the committee has made recommendations to take proactive measures in checking encroachment of government and Satra lands and tracts of land owned by any other institution or person.
Besides, the Hari Shankar Brahma report also suggests the state government to formulate a new land policy for the state and finalize it at the earliest. The report also recommends granting land rights to people who have been relocated during period of natural calamities. According to the committee those displaced are now residing in government lands, grazing grounds, forest areas and have been living without land pattas since the last 40 to 50 years.