Guwahati, May 3: Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti today demanded a probe by the CBI and enforcement directorate into “illegal” use of agricultural land for other purposes.
The samiti’s general secretary Akhil Gogoi alleged that businessmen Suresh Kumar Prithani, Kailash Lohia and Ram Avtar Bhurakhiya, while purchasing large tracts of agr-icultural land on the city outskirts, had submitted affidav-its that they would use the la-nd for agricultural purposes.
“They are now using the land for non-agricultural activities, violating the restriction imposed by the government on transfer of agricultural land for other purposes,” he said. “We want these violators to be arrested and their land and properties seized.”
According to the peasant leader, the Kamrup district administration’s recent decision to issue showcause notices to those using agricultural land for other purposes was nothing but an “eyewash”. He said they would not settle for anything less than a CBI probe, “since we believe these violators are being patronised by chief minister Tarun Gogoi and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma”.
He said thousands of samiti members and supporters would gherao Dispur on May 9 demanding land for the state’s landless poor. “If the government can give land to big business houses at throwaway prices, then why not to the poor landless, particularly to those who lost their homes to flood and erosion,” he asked.
Akhil also alleged that a cement company owned by Kailash Lohia and his associates was selling cement at high prices even after availing of huge amount of government subsidy both in Meghalaya and Assam. He said though the cement plant was in Meghalaya, they had set up a clinker plant at Sonapur on the city’s outskirts to also claim subsidy in Assam.
“Despite these companies getting a huge amount of subsidy, cement prices are still high, which shows they are not passing the benefit to the consumers,” Akhil added.