Massive protest in Guwahati’s Silsako over impending eviction drive

In what has become a heated battle between the state government and the evicted families, a massive protest is currently underway in Guwahati’s Silsako. This protest comes in response to the announcement of another eviction drive scheduled for July 27, just a few weeks after a major eviction took place in the area, resulting in the demolition of several houses.

The protesters, comprising mostly of the displaced families, have expressed their deep dissatisfaction with the government’s decision. One of the protesters shared their grievances with the media, stating that they have been fighting for their rights for the past five months, and they refuse to allow another round of demolitions to happen. They are determined to protect their land from being handed over to capitalist interests.

Another protester voiced a more extreme stance, suggesting that if the government insists on proceeding with the eviction drive, they should be prepared to face resistance on a whole new level. The individual warned that they are willing to put their bodies in the way of the bulldozers to halt the eviction drive.

The flashpoint for this protest lies in the events that occurred in February, when the Assam government evicted approximately 300 families of indigenous people and demolished two temples as part of their ongoing campaign against land encroachment in the region. This move by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) triggered significant discontent among the affected communities.

The Himanta Biswa Sarma government, which came to power in May 2021, has been actively conducting eviction drives in various parts of Assam. Over the past three months, several major exercises have taken place, resulting in the demolition of not only residential properties but also religious structures such as temples, mosques, and madrassas. The situation in Silsako has reached a boiling point as the government’s plans for another eviction drive have been met with fierce resistance from the local populace. The fear of losing their homes and the anger over the destruction of religious sites have galvanized the protesters, leading to this massive demonstration.

The Assam government has argued that these eviction drives are necessary to reclaim government land from encroachers and to prevent further unauthorized settlements. They maintain that these actions are in the best interest of the state and its development. As the protest in Silsako continues to escalate, it remains uncertain how the government will respond. Will they reconsider their plans for the eviction drive, or will they stand firm on their decision? The fate of the families facing eviction and the sites of religious importance hangs in the balance, and the tension in the region is palpable.

The protest in Guwahati’s Silsako serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing struggle between the government’s developmental goals and the rights and sentiments of the local communities. The impending eviction drive has stirred emotions and resistance, creating a standoff that demands attention and resolution. As the date of the proposed drive approaches, all eyes are on Silsako, waiting to see how this contentious situation unfolds.