The Assam government is all set to carry out a major eviction drive in Sonitpur district on Saturday to clear encroachments from 330 acres of land. The drive will be carried out at No. 3 Chitalmari area in Barchalla assembly constituency, represented by BJP MLA Ganesh Kumar Limbu, along the northern bank of Brahmaputra River.

A senior official of the Sonitpur district administration said, “We are ready to carry out the eviction drive from tomorrow morning. All the necessary formalities have been completed and around 1,000 security personnel have arrived for operation.”

As per government statement, 299 families were living in the area, but more than 90 per cent have already left after receiving the notice around eight months back.

The official added, “We could not carry out the eviction drive earlier due to various reasons. Now, most of the people have agreed that this is government land and it will be used for developmental work.”

When the official was about the demographic pattern of the alleged encroachers, said, “It is a mix of several communities. The most number of families are Bengali-speaking Muslims, followed by people from the Bengali Hindu and Gorkha communities.”

Limbu, the two-time MLA, claimed that most of the families have houses in other locations also and that is why they are leaving without any protest. These people also had voting rights and they have been voting in Barchalla for years.

Special Director General of Police (law and order) Gyanendra Pratap Singh had visited the site on Thursday and reviewed the security arrangements. He had also claimed that the land is being cleared as the government is planning to set up a solar power plant in that location.

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