Environment: Indigenous communities and Adivasi farmers of Mikir Bamuni Grant village in Nagaon, Assam have been protesting against the forceful takeover of their land for the setting up of a 15 MW solar power plant by Azure Power Forty Private Limited.
An All-India-Fact-Finding Committee (FFC) was constituted by the Delhi Solidarity Group to address the grievances of the local people. Members such as Prafulla Samantara, Leo Saldanha, Bhargavi Rao, and Amit Kumar visited Mikir Bamuni to meet with the local communities, district police, and revenue officials.
Based on the evidence gathered during this visit the committee has released a report titled ‘The Anatomy of a Solar Land Grab’.
The report establishes that the construction of the solar plant is on fertile agricultural land and that it blocks an active elephant corridor in an ecologically sensitive region. It also states that there was use of police power to coerce local people into submission. The members of the FFC group, during the launch of the report, also highlighted how the Government of Assam and police officials worked in the interests of Azure Power at the cost of human rights, livelihoods, and fundamental rights of the villagers.
The report demands that the Assam government step in and immediately pause the construction of the plant, take necessary steps to restore the land, and hand it back to the tillers of the lands. Additionally, there is a need to initiate an enquiry into the human rights violations, fraud, and illegalities carried out by the state officials in the unlawful transfer of the land.
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