‘Killings of Moinul Haque and Sheikh Farid Are Murders, says the team in its report
NEW DELHI – A CPI-ML Liberation team visited the site of the infamous evictions and killings at Dhalpur, Darrang district in Assam on Sunday. They met family members of Moinul Haque, the man whose killing by police and desecration of his body by a photographer has shocked the entire nation. The team also met the people evicted by the state government last week. Following are team’s findings:
The Killing of Moinul Haque:
– We met the family members of Moinul Haque, the man who was shot dead by Assam Police. We met his small daughter and son. The daughter was sobbing inconsolably, and had not had anything to eat or drink since the incident. The family and community are traumatised, especially children. The entire family is living under a makeshift piece of tin.
– We saw two homes near Moinul Haque’s own, which had not only been demolished but burnt down.
– Moinul was defending his home from arson and firing by the police & the “photographer” associated with the DM’s office. What can possibly justify 17 Assam police personnel opening fire on a lone man armed with nothing but a stick? This is not crowd control, it is not an “encounter”, it is murder.
– Eviction Notices have been served to some through Whatsapp call the previous night, some got notices after eviction, and some have not yet received notices at all.
– What was the tearing hurry to evict by force, without even serving notices properly?
Not “Encroachers” But Erosion Affected Farmers
The evicted households have settlement papers dating back to 7 February 1979, showing that they have been paying occupancy charges. The government has set up Aanganawadi Kendras and schools, etc. When the river floods their land they are displaced onto government land. How can such households be termed “encroachments”?
Land Policy Is Unjust, Benefits Corporates Not “Indigenous” People
The 2019 Land Policy and Brahma Committee report talk of evicting non-indigenous “encroachers” from government land which will be distributed to “indigenous”. The definition of “indigenous” is not provided in the policy – why are family of Bengali-descent Muslims considered non-indigenous when they have lived on the land for 4 or 5 decades?
Moreover, erosion affected persons in Laika and Dadiya in Tinsukia who fit the BJP’s definition of “indigenous” are yet to get the government land they are demanding. Why divide erosion affected persons based on ethnicity or religion?
The fine print of the Land Policy makes it clear that even the “indigenous” Assamese are not going to receive any land. The whole thing is a ploy to grab land to hand over to corporates as is already happening near the airport, at Mikir Bamuni etc.
– The CM who is responsible for the communal eviction policy and whose brother is the SP Darrang who conducted the murderous attack must resign.
– Directions of the Supreme Court in its order dated 23.09.2014 in People’s Union for Civil Liberties vs. Union of India [(2014) 10 SCC 635] (on police encounter killings) must be strictly complied with. There should be registration of FIR in regard to killing of Mohinul Haque and Sheikh Farid. An independent investigation into this must be conducted by the CID or police team of another police station under the supervision of a senior officer. The police officer(s) concerned must surrender their weapons for forensic and ballistic analysis, including any other material as required for investigation.
– The SP Darrang and police personnel involved in firing and arson must be sacked, arrested and charged under all appropriate criminal sections including murder, arson and attempt to murder.
– No more evictions of poor under any pretext. Instead evict the super-rich who have built resorts in forest core zones, tea companies who have occupied 6,354 acres of land to illegally set up tea gardens, encroachments by industries in tribal belts, and the BJP office built on Govt land in Guwahati.
– Stop the communal propaganda claiming that temples are being encroached by “illegal immigrants”. In fact, at Darrang the temple has been kept safe in an area where almost 99% families are Muslim. The Hindu caretaker of the temple Parvati Das has also been evicted under the Land policy. If the Govt speaks of preserving sacred sites (“satras”) – why is the land grab near the airport destroying the “koita siddhi satra” near it?
– Local communities are providing relief to the displaced persons but the government must take responsibility and provide relief including medical camps, drinking water, food, shelter, and hygiene.
– All evicted persons at Darrang must be restored to their lands and their homes must be rebuilt.