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Plan underway by encroachers to alter power equations by 2050, alleges Assam CM

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday claimed that a blueprint is being implemented by encroachers to alter power equations in the state by 2050 through demographic means.

Without naming any particular community, Sarma said that these illegal settlers claim to be affected by disasters and move from one area to another with a specific agenda. The CM’s comments come a week after two civilians were killed and 20 others including 11 policemen were injured during an eviction drive in Darrang district.

“I’m not naming any particular community. We shouldn’t say it’s being done by followers of Islam as indigenous Assamese Muslims are not part of this. The collective aim of these people (encroachers) is to completely alter the power equation in Assam by 2050,” Sarma told journalists in Dhemaji.

The state’s BJP-led government has started evicting settlers who have encroached government land. Most of those targeted in these drives held at Sonitpur, Hojai and Darrang districts are Bengali speaking Muslims with roots in East Pakistan (present Bangladesh).

Sarma said that the encroachers claim to be displaced from their place of origin citing some disaster and move to another place and settle illegally there as part of a plan.

“That’s why they use terms like ‘landless’, ‘flood affected’ etc. By claiming to be flood-hit, they move from Barpeta to another place. If you inquire, you will find that several of these so-called displaced people own hundreds of ‘bighas’ of land. But if you ask them about it, they will remain silent,” he said

Sarma said that encroachers were able to achieve their goal in Batadroba seat in this election. The assembly, which was represented by BJP’s Angoorlata Deka in 2016, was won by Congress’s Sibamoni Bora with support of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and other parties in the opposition grand alliance.

“This is a blueprint made by them to encroach and control one assembly constituency at a time. As per intelligence input available with me, right now these people want to have Sipajhar, Borsola and Lumding seats in their sight,” the CM alleged.

“They want to change the demography of these three seats by the next election, which is in 2026. If we are able to prevent them from achieving that goal, it will be a big deal for us,” added Sarma.

Reacting to the claims, opposition All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), a party that has a large base among Bengali speaking Muslims in Assam, said the CM’s statements were sensitive and communal.

“These are very communal and sensitive comments. Sarma needs to understand that people who get displaced by floods and other calamities are forced to move and settle in other places out of necessity. By saying that its part of a grand plan, the CM is just following Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s views,” said AIUDF organising secretary Md. Aminul Islam.

“Sarma is making these comments now since by-polls to five assembly seats are due next month and he wants to incite voters. He had made similar allegations prior to this year’s assembly polls held in March-April. It is unfortunate that the CM himself is spreading such conspiracy theories and hatred for Muslims,” he added.

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