Guwahati: it has been proved by now that the Bangladesh origin Muslims have encroached several thousand acres of land in Assam in a designed way. The recent violent eviction drive in Dhalpur in Darrang district has brought many facts to light. There are instances that some families have encroached on up to 65-70 acres of land in the Dhalpur riverine areas. Assam chief minister clearly said that Muslim families having permanent land property encroached on government land in different places. It is a 'designed encroachment' by the Muslims to invade Hindu dominated constituency of Assam.
The Dhalpur encroachment started during the late '70s. Local Assamese people said 'Organiser' that there were only 37 Muslim families came from Nagaon district till 1979. The 5000 years old Dhalpur Shiva Mandir is at the top of the Dhalpur hill in the middle of the river Brahmaputra. The Kirat community established the Cave Mandir during the 4th century. The Archeological Department has discovered many age-old structures at the Mandir site. Mandir management committee general secretary Dharma Nath told 'Organiser' that the plains of the Dhalpur hill were farmland of Hindu dairy farmers until 1979. Hundreds of farmers came here from different parts of Nagaon, Nalbari, Barpeta, Sonitpur and Darrang districts and ran their dairy farms. For their profit, they used to take care of the Shiva Mandir. The Assamese name of the greater area is known as 'Goru Khuti' (Cow farm).
Nath, a retired teacher who wrote a book on the Shiv temple, further added that organised encroachment started under the patronage of Congress in the late '70s. From 37 Muslim families in 79, the Dhalpur area was filled with several hundreds of Muslim families by the end of 1981. The encroachers' first target was the age-old Shiv temple and its land. By 1981, when the Assam agitation was on the rise, Muslim Congress leaders brought 100s of Muslim families to Dhalpur. They first encroached on the 180 bighas of land that belong to the Shiv temple, Dharma Nath added. They initially cut down the big trees on the temple campus and looted various valuable particles belonging to the temple.
In February 1983, Muslim miscreants killed the priest of the temple Shiva Das. Another priest, Kartik Das, fled to a nearby Assamese village. Deceased priest Shiva Das was declared a martyr of Assam agitation, and he was one of the 855 martyrs of the long agitation. MP Dilip Saikia said that such is the threat of the encroachers to the Assamese people that after the demise of the priest Kartik Das in 2011, his wife was compelled to marry a Muslim man and the wife and three children of late priest Kartik Das were converted to Muslim.
Sipajhar MLA Paramananda Rajbanshi told 'Organiser' that the BJP government has evicted all the migrant Muslims from the temple land. The archaeological department has found several thousand years of structure on the temple site. The Muslim encroachers tried to break the main idol of the Shiv temple. The cut mark is visible on the idol. The Mandir is being reconstructed with the personal initiative of the chief minister. Girukhuti integrated agricultural project coordinator MLA Padma Hazarika said that serial killings of indigenous people are happening in this area.
In 1983, during Assam agitation, migrant Muslims killed 8 Assamese youth, including the priest of Dhalpur Shiva Mandir. They killed two Assamese farmers in 2017 and 2019. Now they dare to attack the police with an intention to kill. But the situation is different from 1983. Our government will take appropriate action. Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told the media that the eviction drive would continue.
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