GUWAHATI: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to Assam government taking suo motu cognizance of a media report that two persons lost life eviction drive conducted by the state authorities near Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in Assam.

Two persons -- Anjuma Khatun and Fakhruddin -- lost their lives when a near stampede situation after the police force resorted to fire tear gas shells to disperse the people protesting against the eviction drive at Banderdubi and Deochurchang villages following a Gauhati High Court order on September 19.

The notice was sent through through Assam’s chief secretary and Director General of Police and asked to submit a detailed report in four weeks.

“They (state authorities) have also been directed to ensure that the rights of the people relating to their life, dignity and equality are not violated during the process of their eviction,” said a statement of NHRC.

The commission has observed that it seems that the district administration and the police authorities have not acted in a sensible manner. “Due to their negligence, two persons have lost their lives. This amounts to violation of Right to Life of the poor residents,” it said.

Besides, the opposition, students’ organizations and others have condemned the act of the government to kill the villagers in the name of eviction.

All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) slammed the eviction drive at the two villages near the national park. Condemning the act of government, AIUDF general secretary Abdur Rahim Khan said that the process could have been done in a peaceful and democratic way.

“We condemn this barbarous act of the state government to kill innocent people who were seeking for their compensation before getting evicted. They must be provided the due compensation as per the order but the administration did not do that,” Khan said.

According to the AIUDF leaders the people of the two villages have all the valid land documents of 1960s and their names in voters’ lists in 1960s. “These are the revenue villages and the Kaziranga National Park authorities never demanded for these villages for their expansion,” Khan added.

Khan said that the court was provided wrong information by Mrinal Saikia, now an MLA, who filed a PIL in 2015 to take action against rhino poaching.

“We have nothing to say against the verdict and we honour it. The high court has never said that these people shall not be compensated. Besides, Mrinal Saikia has provided wrong information to the High court. There was no hearing on that information from the victims. That means the order is ex partied,” said Rahim.

He said that an appeal has been submitted to the court but hearing is yet to be conducted.

AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam said that the BJP led government is trying to spread communal hatred by launching an attack on Muslims.

“Even the minutes of the high power committee set up by the Gauhati High Court, say that land document holders and lawful residents of Banderdubi and Deochurchang revenue villages cannot be evicted,” Islam said.

Activists of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), an influential peasants’ body have also joined the villagers in the protest and vowed to launch an even larger agitation in this regard.

Reacting to the incident, the KMSS demanded for a CBI inquiry on the development. “Both the people shot from a close range in front of the present people there. We demand at least Rs 20 lakh for the families of the deceased,” KMSS said in a statement