Pakistan on Friday summoned India’s Charge d’ Affaires to the Foreign Office . It conveyed its concern over the Assam eviction drive, alleging that they targeted Muslims in the State.
Two persons were killed and 20 others, including policemen, were injured. This was when the police in Assam tried to evict encroachers at Gorukhuti and other villages . Villages under Sipajhar revenue circle in Darrang district on Thursday faced this. A shocking video came up showing a man hitting an apparently dead person with a bullet wound .
A public protest had erupted over the demand for rehabilitation of 800 families. The country evicted them from State-owned land which has been their home for decades.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement that India must investigate the recent “anti-Muslim violence in Assam” and punish the perpetrators. It should also take measures to stop such incidents from recurring in future, according to the statement.
The Darrang District Administration has so far cleared 602.4 hectares of land and evicted 800 families since Monday and demolished four “illegally” constructed religious structures . Evictions often happen with the urban poor and rent. This intimate relationship with rent shows how eviction is related to poverty. Pakistan brought this to India’s attention. The social underclass, the weak and the minority in any given society face this. Once eviction happens, people are homeless, forced to live in streets or overcrowded places. Meanwhile they enter into a more exploitative relationship with other tenants or employers. Many sociological studies have shown how eviction is both a cause and a condition of poverty.
Matthew Desmond’s work is an inspiration to think of the discourse of eviction . The migrant Muslim Bengali peasant from erstwhile East Bengal in the early 20th century could harvest three crops in a year (when people in Assam managed one) in the char-chapori areas of the Brahmaputra valley. This caught the eye of the Assamese literati and middle class.
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