Declaration of Charaideo Maidam as World Heritage Site facing trouble from land grabbers
By: Manoj Barthakur
SIVASAGAR, Dec 3: The four members of the Charaideo Maidams (mounds) Survey Committee, constituted by Assam government for its inclusion in the World Heritage Site, has alleged that a section of the residents in the historic site in collusion with some other members area have been putting up obstacles to survey work in the Charaideo hills where Saulung Sukapha set up his capital city around 1230 AD.
Jiten Borpatragohain, former professor of history, Namrup College and a member of the Survey Monitoring Committee, alleged that the government declared about 4756 bighas of land in the Charaideo hills and the adjoining area to be included in the Heritage Site project entailing a survey of the entire area afresh.
Earlier on November 8, minister of state for revenue Jogen Mohan visited the area with Charaideo deputy commissioner, Sonari MLA and other officials and instructed the Charaideo TE general manager to cooperate with the survey work.
But some persons occupying government land in the area and setting up small tea gardens have started threatening members of the committee namely Jiten Borpatragohain, Dr Jakirul Alam, historian Dilip Borgohain and Dr Dayananda Borgohain to stop making any further survey in the area.
Some of the members included in the government survey committee namely Satyen Konwar and Mridul Konwar, both government teachers, Jay Bora, an employee of state archaeological department and Atul Konwar, tea planter did not cooperate with the survey work as they are allegedly involved in occupying land brought under the survey.
During boundary wall construction work done by the state archaeological department in 2018, the illegal settlers and land grabbers created much trouble necessitating imposition Sec 144 of IPC in the area.
The members disturbing and threatening the survey have the apprehension that a UNESCO Heritage Site, if implemented will stop all other activities like land grabbing in the region.
Borpatragohain added that the survey work however was completed with great difficulty as per the wishes of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and the report has been submitted to the concerned authority.
He said that the present government map includes only 576 bighas of land of Dag no 7 in Charaideo as the area protected by the Central and the state archaeological departments consisting only 12 ancient maidams while about 200 other maidams are laying scattered in the Charaideo hills in utter neglect.
The committee, in a release, said that there are altogether 465 maidams in the Charaideo hills which includes maidams of 33 kings, 107 queens, 75 regional (subsidiary) kings of Namrup, Charing and Tipam and their 250 queens. A large number of them have been occupied by unscrupulous coal mafia making them private lands, the release stated.
Dr Jakirul Alam, a local resident and a member of the Survey Committee also addressed the media persons while Jayanta Rajkonwar, Anup Borpatragohain, Rajit Phukan were present.
in a release here on Monday, the Ahom Sabha, Sivasagar Zila Samity urged upon the Assam government to find out all ancient relics belonging to the Ahom period of Assam history and take adequate preservation measures to save them from illegal land grabbers.
The Ahom Sabha pointed out that there are more than 200 maidams still laying neglected from Bali Maidam in the north of Charaideo hills to Phuleswari Kunwari Maidam at Lengibor Borpukhuri which need to be taken care of by the department.
The Ahom Sabha cautioned the Survey Committee, formed in a meeting in Charaideo deputy commissioner’s office on September 3, 2019 not to exclude any monument or relics in the survey work as each relic has its own story to tell and has immense historical value.