RTI activist served eviction notice

A peasant leader at the forefront of a movement in Assam against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, has been served an eviction notice for encroachment on government land close to the Kaziranga National Park (KNP).

On Sunday, Deputy Commissioner of eastern Assam’s Golaghat district directed Bokakhat’s civil Sub-Divisional Officer to “take necessary steps immediately for removal of encroachment”. This was with reference to 6.1
bigha
s (about 14,500 sq. ft.) of government land “illegally encroached for Orchid Park by Akhil Gogoi”. Bokakhat is the headquarters of the Eastern Assam Wildlife Division that lords over the KNP. Mr. Gogoi is a Right to Information (RTI) activist and leader of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS).

The eviction notice was served to the Kaziranga National Orchid and Biodiversity Park on June 5 by the Circle Officer of the Bokakhat Revenue Circle. The notice came with a seven-day deadline for vacating the park. Mr. Gogoi, who opened the park at the Durgapur village in Kohora range of the KNP in October 2015, said he had applied for permission to set up a museum on the piece of land the district authorities want to be vacated.

“This is a political conspiracy by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Assam that nurses grudges against me because of the touchy issues the KMSS takes up. I will go to court, if necessary,” he said.

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