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Lum Survey: Half of huts locked during inspection

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, May 8: The East Khasi Hills district administration and the office of the Defence Estate Officer (DEO), Guwahati, jointly inspected a plot at Lum Survey on Wednesday, less than a week after the Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) demanded an on-site verification of the alleged illegal settlement there.
The HYC had set a week’s deadline on May 2 for such an exercise.
Officials of the Shillong Cantonment Board and the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) were present along with leaders of the HYC during the inspection.
The SMB collected the names of the people suspected to have settled on the plot illegally. Of the 80 huts on the plot, 40 were locked.
Most of the alleged illegal settlers are Muslims from Assam, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country.
HYC president Roy Kupar Synrem told reporters that the office of the DEO would take the final decision to evict the settlers.
“Since the area falls within the jurisdiction of the East Khasi Hills district administration, we will follow this matter with the deputy commissioner concerned and the DEO’s office,” he said.
The HYC will take stringent steps if the officials fail to evict the illegal settlers, he added.
“We will evict them if there is a need. The authorities will have to take the responsibility if our action leads to a law-and-order situation,” Synrem said.
“We would not like to see this place become another Them Iew Mawlong,” he added.
He insisted many of the settlers on the Lum Survey plot locked their houses after learning about the spot verification.
Synrem had earlier said the plot was not under the ambit of litigation as East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner, SC Sadhu claimed.
“Three cases concerning the eviction notices served on three individuals occupying a certain area of land (200 to 500 square feet each) are pending before the District Judge, Shillong,” he said.
The notices were issued under Section 5 of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 by the DEO.
“We have met one of the persons on whom the notice was served and who had filed a case against the eviction notice. He clarified to us that the small portion linked with the cases is not a part of the settlement sporting the illegal huts of these settlers,” Synrem said.
“Hence, the question of the matter being sub-judice does not arise and the summary eviction process of the illegal settlers can be undertaken by the authority concerned,” he said.

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