SILCHAR: More than 50 families of Damcherra in South Assam’s Hailakandi district are facing homelessness as the state government plans to set up a commando training center there.
“I don’t know what will happen in the near future. I just hope that the government will understand our situation and not throw us out of our homes,” said Jashim Uddin Mazumder of Damcherra on Sunday.
Like Jashim, several other villagers are worried about what will come after the recent announcement of the construction of the training center.
Damcherra falls under Katlicherra council near the Assam-Mizoram state border, about 60km from Hailakandi town. The village consists of people from the Muslim community.
Residents of Damcherra and nearby areas said that surveys and inspections are being done regularly by the police and forest departments in the government forest area regarding the project.
More than 50 families – comprising approximately 250-300 people – will end up losing their homes if the project fails. “If the government goes ahead with this project, there will be evictions and our houses will be destroyed,” said a resident.
Yesterday, Thursday, a meeting was held in Kukinala town of Damcherra district where residents and members of various organizations expressed their concern. They requested the regional administration to set up the training center in any vacant area near Damcherra so that their houses are not demolished.
The chairman of the central council of the democratic students’ union, Barak Abdul Ahad, said that around 50-60 families will be homeless if the training center is built in Damcherra area and a survey and inspection has been done. Besides, several religious and educational centers will be destroyed, he said. Ahad, while praising the government’s initiative to open this training center, demanded that the location be changed. He asked Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to intervene in the matter.
Ahad said that this training center can be implemented somewhere between Riflemara and Bairagi – which is about 2km away from Damcherra area – as the area has not yet been settled.
One of the residents of Damcherra, Ashraf Uddin Barbhuiya, said that the government should consider the situation of the residents and review its decision. He asked Katlicherra MP Sujam Uddin Laskar to discuss the matter with the government.
He said that most of the people in the village are farmers and they may face problems in earning their daily living if the government implements this project.
“How will the people get their livelihood? Will the land we are cultivating remain if the Damcherra project is implemented? Nothing is clear yet. The government should consider all these issues before making its decision,” he said.
Talking to EastMojo On Sunday, Ahad said that the move by the government to set up the training center in Damcherra has created panic among the residents.
He said that there is only one school in Damcherra district, and the students of that village will face problems if the center is built and the eviction is organized. The nearest school, apart from Damcherra, is about 3km away. “It will be difficult for the people of Damcherra, who are mostly from economically disadvantaged sections, to send their children to school in remote areas,” he said.
He demanded that those people be compensated on humanitarian grounds if the training center project is implemented. “People have lived here for decades, and this, in contrast, has become their birthplace. The government should think about the people and compensate them if it goes ahead with its decision to open the center,” he said.
He praised the state government for the decision to build the training center saying that there have been attempts by Mizo groups from time to time to occupy the lands of Assam illegally and the construction of the training center was confirmed by the brigade. will prevent illegal activities.
Katlicherra AIUDF MP Sujam Uddin Laskar told reporters on Friday that he would take up the matter with CM Sarma.
Laskar said EastMojo that he discussed this matter with the police chief of Hailakandi and the district forest officer and demanded that the place where the training center is being built be transferred. “There is a vacant site – Bairagi (Ramanpabasti), which is about 1km from Damcherra area. If the center opens there, no one will suffer,” Laskar said.
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