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Lum Survey row: HYC gives one week for site verification

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SHILLONG, May 2: The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) on Thursday issued a one-week deadline to the district administration, Defence Estate Office (DEO), Guwahati and Shillong Cantonment Board (SCB), demanding on-site verification at the illegal settlements in Lum Survey.
HYC president Roy Kupar Synrem claimed the plot of land with the illegal settlers is not under the ambit of the present litigation as referred to by East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner (DC) SC Sadhu.
According to him, there are only three cases pending before the District Judge, Shillong in relation to the eviction notices served on three individuals occupying certain area of land (about 200 to 500 sq. ft. each).
The notices were issued under Section 5 of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 by the Estate Officer, Guwahati.
“We have also met one of the persons on whom the notice was served and who had filed a case against the eviction notice. He had clarified to us that the portion, in which cases are pending, is only a small portion of land and does not involve the larger portion of illegal settlement where huts are illegally constructed by those settlers,” Synrem told reporters.
He added, “Hence, the question of the matter being sub judice does not arise and summary eviction process of the illegal settlement can be undertaken by the authority concerned with regard to the areas not under litigation.”
He said they are demanding clarity in order to know the ground reality and for speedy action on the complaint of illegal settlement.
“We urge upon you to conduct spot inquiry/verification of the land in question along with us and the litigants of the cases referred to above, within a week’s time from today, so that prompt and necessary action is taken to evict these illegal settlers from the land in question. And failing which, we will have no option but to conduct the spot verification by ourselves along with the litigants in the presence of the press-media persons for the interest and information of the general public at large,” the HYC wrote in a petition to the DEO.
The petition was also submitted to the DC, the Superintendent of Police (SP) and the CEO of SCB.
Synrem said when the DEO, Guwahati issued three eviction notices to the three individuals after winning the title suit in 2006, they had moved the court to challenge the same.
“The authorities cannot take any action against the three individuals given the status quo as the matter is still pending in the court,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the DEO, Guwahati had assured to submit a detailed report on the plot of land. A representative of the DEO, Guwahati made the assurance during a meeting with the DC.
“They have assured us that they are going to share detailed information on the historical background of the land in question and also on the action taken by them,” Sadhu had told reporters after the meeting.
Stating that there is a need to have a proper study before deciding on the future course of action, he said they are forming a joint committee comprising representatives from his office, DEO, police and municipal board.
He said there was a title suit and it was ruled in favour of the DEO.
“But some people approached the court when the DEO had issued an eviction notice. The court then issued a stay order by stating that eviction has to be followed as per law,” the DC said.
Stating that the last hearing on the case was held in December, he said the court had fixed May 27 as the next date of hearing.
To a query, he said they are not going for any survey as of now as the matter is sub judice.
“But we will get a detailed report from the DEO since they have already done the survey,” Sadhu said.
He said the district administration will initiate action against illegal activities at Lum Survey.
“We have requested the SP to submit a detailed report on the law and order situation in the area. We will initiate action if there is any violation of the law,” he said.

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