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Badruddin Ajmal accused of ditching minority people by snatching land documents before Dhalpur eviction

By Devabrata Dutta 

GUWAHATI: The All India United Democratic Front supremo Badruddin Ajmal was accused of ‘strategically snatching’ land documents of the people living in Sipajhar char areas in order to stop them from preventing the recent eviction drive by the Sipajhar district administration.

“When the Assam Government announced their project in Gorukhuti area to establish a community agricultural farm and to start an eviction drive to free land for the same we have been trying to secure the rights of those people. And that very moment Badruddin Ajmal sent his four MLAs to Sipajhar char areas in the month of July, where we were invited to take part as well, and assured to help the char people citing their poor economic state as they will not be able to bear legal expenses,” said Mahammad Khalifa, president of Asom Sankhyaloghu Sangram Parishad (ASSP), speaking with InsideNE.

Khalifa added, “AIUDF promised us to finance our legal expenses and instructed us to deposit all necessary land-related documents. As per their instruction, we collected all the documents from our people and had a meeting in the presence of all AIUDF MLAs at Sirajuddin Ajmal’s, brother of Badruddin Ajmal, official residence in Dispur. There we discussed all the aspects of this case with legal experts.”

The AIUDF wanted the case to be fought by Nazrul Haque Mazarbhuiya whereas ASSP and Char Suraksha Committee wanted it to be undertaken by the Jamiat. Due to the difference of opinion ASSP decided not to give the case to AIUDF and they came back.

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“Later Jamiat Secretary Fazlul Karim Qasimi contacted us and informed that the case will be handled by the Jamiat and we just have to submit our documents for the further process. They also agreed on hiring another lawyer other than Mazarbhuiya and after which we had nothing to oppose,” Khalifa informed.

“More than 40 cadres of our organisation worked day and night for 15 days in the char areas and collected all the required documents from there and went to Guwahati and sat with Mazharbhuiya, who was supposed to do the drafting work only, for six days,” said Khalifa.

As per Kahlifa, even after doing all the required works, Mazarbhuiya kept on avoiding giving updates on the case details. On a strict approach from the ASSP side, Mazarbhuiya one day said that the advocate was not paid for the case. When Khalifa approached Jamiat secretary Qasimi again, it was later revealed that the advocate was paid Rs. 1 lakh already but still the case was not being filed even after 15-20 days of submitting the documents.

“Just a few days before the eviction, Mazarbhuiya informed that the case could not be filed as Badruddin Ajmal did not permit to do so yet. They informed us at such a time when it was not possible for us to file the case from our side either. They have strategically snatched our documents in order to prevent us from filing a case in the high court which could have stayed the eviction temporarily. They cheated on us. They still have our documents with them,” Khalifa said.

Khalifa alleged further, “It was Badruddin Ajmal’s joint conspiracy with Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to prevent us from staying the eviction. Once matter becomes sub-judice, CM’s desired agricultural project would have been delayed as well. Ajmal did all these in order to help CM.”

ASSP President Khalifa also expressed his disappointment over Congress leaders as well and accused many Congress leaders of being silent on this eviction issue knowingly including Congress Barpeta MP Abdul Khaleque and APCC working president Jakir Hussain Sikdar.

“It’d be better if Congress and AIUDF do not try to play petty politics with us by distributing rice and blankets during election again. If any of them dare to do so then they will be physically abused next time and it’s a warning from our side,” Khalifa said.

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“I have contacted Mr Abdul Khaleque Khaleque, APCC working president Jakir Hussain Sikdar, MLA Nurul Huda, Abdul Batin Khandakar and Sherman Ali urging them to talk with our CM once to postpone the eviction during this rainy season. But they kept on passing it from one to another just to avoid the situation,” Khalifa alleged.

Khalifa expressed, “Abdul Khaleque has some understanding with the BJP and CM which is a well-known fact. Now he wants to give OBC status to minorities. No, we do not want that. You have been in power for such a long time and you did nothing. Now your heart cries for the minority? Khaleque should also stop his buffoonery. People have understood him well.”

It was also informed that Congress working president Jakir Hussain Sikdar tried to visit the eviction zones after the drive was conducted but could not due to the infuriated public. Sikdar later called on Darrang Deputy Commissioner in the night.

“They can meet DC only. The public will thrash them even if they dare to enter chars. Not only Sikdar but AIUDF local MLAs Mazibur Rahman, Ashraful Hussain also could not enter the area. Now we are clear that our fights are different. They should focus on their work and we will be focusing on ours,” Khalifa said.

Khalifa informed that the eviction notice was dated on September 10 and the same notice was served on September 18, just a day before the eviction drive was carried out by the district administration.

“Congress never had never done anything for the minorities of Assam starting from giving land pattas to solving NRC issue. Then Badruddin Ajmal led AIUDF jumped in between from nowhere and brought the flavour of communal politics along with them. BJP had taken advantage of the same and catalysed the politics of Hindu-Muslim polarisation. Badruddin and AIUDF are the main reasons behind all Hindu-Muslim politics in Assam today. Ajmal and CM Sarma have an understanding between them that one will do Hindu politics and another will do Muslim politics to extract profit out of it as much as possible,” Khalifa lament.

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Reacting to the same, AIUDF spokesman Aminul Islam said, “Yes we have taken photocopies of their documents. But accusing us of preventing them from filing a case is baseless. The eviction was inhuman and we have been working for the rehabilitation of those evicted persons as well. For the first time, evicted persons were facilitated with a land of 1,000 bighas for rehabilitation. How did that happen?”

“We are doing our work as per our calibre and have nothing to say on what others think of us. It’s their own petty politics,” Islam added.

Eviction in the Dhalpur area made headlines after the Assam Government decided to free 77 thousand bighas of government land from encroachers at Gorukhuti, Sipajhar for an agriculture project to employ indigenous youth in farming. The government already freed 120 bighas of land in June surrounding a Shiv temple which claimed to be pre-historic by Assam CM.

Yesterday, around 4,500 bighas of land were freed of “illegal encroachers” from No. 1 and No. 3 Dhalpur villages, primarily home to Bengali Muslims, and at least 800 families were evicted. However, during the eviction, no number of unfavourable incidents were reported and Darrang SP Sushanta Biswa Sarma also informed the media that almost all the encroachers moved out without resistance.

According to BJP national general secretary and Mangaldoi MP Dilip Saikia, around 1,000 bighas of land were arranged for these evicted families for their rehabilitation.

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