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Assam: Alleged threats from forest department officials

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Residents of Muslim-majority villages in Karimganj Parliamentary constituency Accused officials and employees of the Assam Forest Department. that he threatened them to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate; or prepare for “Bulldozer Operation”

Karimganj and CM Himanta Biswa Sharma (Image courtesy: Google Maps/Facebook)

New Delhi: Residents of a Muslim-majority village in Assam’s Karimganj parliamentary constituency It has knocked on the door of a local court against nine officials of the Assam Forest Department.

Villagers alleged that they had been accused of threatening to vote for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates or preparing for “Bulldozer Operation”

The name of Chief Secretary MK Yadav is also included among the nine nominated officials. Apart from Yadav, locals have also filed a complaint against the BJP candidate Karpanath Mallah. Voting for this seat was held on Friday. (April 26)

The petitioner, who hails from Batukosi village in Helakandi district, asked the Karimganj Chief Magistrate’s Court to appoint an “independent agency” before the elections and order an “impartial investigation” into the alleged “criminal intimidation”.

MK Yadav

MK Yadav is a controversial Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer. who retired from the positions of Chief Conservator of Forest and Chief Conservator of Forests of the state in February this year.

What is interesting is Ahead of the general elections, the Himanta Biswa Sharma-led BJP government reappointed him as Special Chief Secretary (Forest). There was also an uproar over his reappointment due to various corruption allegations. Including embezzlement of funds for tiger conservation in Assam. and the rampant increase in collections during the then President of India Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Kaziranga. Various events It became clearer.

At the time, these arguments forced the Sharma government to temporarily remove him from the posts of chief forest warden and chief wildlife warden.

MK Yadav. (Screenshot courtesy: YouTube/Digital India)

MK Yadav. (Screenshot courtesy: YouTube/Digital India)

Soon after his new appointment, Congress MLA and Leader of Opposition in Assam Assembly Debbarat Sekiya wrote a letter to Governor Gulab Chand Kataria giving 10 reasons why Yadav should not be appointed by the Assam government.

One of the issues Debbarat referred to was allegations of electronic voting machine (EVM) tampering, which allegedly arose when Yadav AEDCL-AM Tran K. was managing director. The machines were supplied by a state-owned company for the general elections. CM Sharma was then in the Congress and M Tran was the president.

In Assam, Yadav is seen as close to Sharma.

Debbart KM Tran’s reference in the letter is to 2009, when the state’s opposition parties, especially the Assam Gun Parishad (AGP), which is now an ally of the BJP in Assam, led the Yadav-led EVM, had raised concerns about counterfeiting.

Allegations of abuse and extortion

The April 24 petition was filed in Karimganj’s CJM court by Saeedil Ali, Dilur Hussain, Mojmun Nehar and Aleem Al-Nisa, all residents of Batukosi village in Ratbari police station roundabout in Helakundi district.

Along with Yadav, the nominees include Silchar Chief Conservator of Forests Rajeev Kumar Das, Helahandi Forest District Officer Akhil Dutta, IFS officer and Kachhar Division DFO Vijay Timbak Palve, Chirangi. Name of deputy conservator Manoj Sinha, forest officer. Chirangi stick Ajit Pal, beat officer Dalla Vachira Faiz Ahmad Borbhoya, ranger Chirangi Tapas Das, beat ranger Chirangi Abdul Noor and ranger Chirangi Faizuddin Lashkar were also included.

The petition also states that “There are forest officials, police, Assam police commandos. and 40 to 45 forestry soldiers in black uniforms, their names and addresses unknown.”

The complainants in their appeal to the court clearly stated that starting on April 21, similar threats were made by these officials in nearby Muslim-majority villages.

He said that for the past three days There are 40 to 45 armed policemen in black uniforms along with Assam police commandos. and the Forestry Force along with armed forest guards Has worked in Butokusi, Rongpur, Sharangi, Jalalwad, Nevea and other areas. From house to house at night

They are accused of interrogating residents, calling them out, and taking pictures of their homes. They were asked to vote for the BJP candidate Karpanath Mallah, while threats were issued if they did not do so. They will be evicted from their homes by bulldozers after June 4, 2024 (general election votes are counted).

The petition also stated that the accused used derogatory language such as Muhajirs, “people from Bengal” for them. All these people were asked to vote for the BJP candidate and whether they wanted to stay here or not. If these people want to live here in peace and happiness. They must vote for the BJP candidate or they will be kicked out of here…’

The petitioners also told the court that they have several photographs and video clips of the incident and asked the court to ‘allow them to be produced for proper judicial review’.

Locals call this “Intentional intimidation and insults” by the accused Villagers are calling for an impartial investigation into the matter by an independent agency.

Reporting on the incident, Assamese newspaper Ixomia Prati Din said: According to the villagers The accused also identified houses built on forest land in the last 50-60 years.

As the petitioner stated “They have sufficient evidence to show that the court was threatened by the administration through government officials.”

The train was rejected.

As this story was reported in local media on Election Day, The Wire attempted to contact the State Election Commission. But haven’t received a reply until now.

The Wire is also seeking answers from the Election Commission regarding the sudden cancellation of six trains to Silchar on election day.

To make it clear Thousands of voters from Silchar and Karimganj parliamentary constituencies were unable to cast their ballots on Friday. This is due to the cancellation of these trains by the North East Frontier Railway on April 25.

Karpanath Malah of the BJP is contesting re-election from Karimganj Lok Sabha seat while State Minister Parmal Skalavidh is trying his luck from Silchar constituency.

According to reports, the BJP’s chances are high in the Bengali Hindu-majority Silchar seat. While Congress candidate Hafiz Rashid Chaudhary is leading in Karimganj.

Earlier it was reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates. After the partition of the assembly constituencies in Assam, the Karimganj Lok Sabha seat gave the Muslim community an opportunity to field members of parliament from within the community as candidates in these elections. What is it?

(Click here to read in English)

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