On Thursday (23 September), two civilians were killed and nine policemen injured in the Assam eviction drive. An anti-encroachment drive in Darrang district (Assam) blew up into a brutal clash between the police and people protesting eviction. On camera, police in riot gear and armed with guns and sticks chased and attacked protesters and even firing shots.
In horrifying visuals, a government cameraman filming the clash attacked a protester who had earlier followed him with a stick. The protester, beaten by policemen, lay motionless as the cameraman kept attacking him until he was arrested. The police have arrested the cameraman.
Police said, “local people have attacked them with the stones and they had to use force”.
The Superintendent of Police Sushanta Biswa Sarma said “Nine of our policemen were injured. Two civilians were also injured. They have been shifted to the hospital. Now things are normal.”
Mr. Sarma, who was at the site of the clash, said, “We couldn’t complete the eviction drive because of the situation. We will assess later. We are returning as of now.”
But when asked about the footage of the local being shot and then beaten, he said, ” The area is big. I was on another side. I will find out and assess the situation.”
The Congress Leader Rahul Gandi reacting to the police brutality, targeted the state’s BJP government and tweeted that “Assam is on State-sponsored fire’. “I stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the state – no children of India deserve this,” he added.
About 200 families from Dholpur, where the eviction took place on Thursday had challenged it in the Guwahati High Court at the end of August. The government filed an affidavit saying it was government land and settlers had no right over it. However, the eviction was carried out before the petitioners could file a reply to the affidavit.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted after the Assam eviction drive on Monday, I am happy and compliment the district administration of Darrang and Assam Police for having cleared about 4500 bighas, by evicting 800 households.”
Reports say the government has decided in June to repossess the land for a farming project and had served notices to alleged encroachers.
However, the CM also visited the area. In a tweet during the visit, he said, he was there to “inspect the riverine areas that were encroached by illegal settlers near Dholpur Shiva Mandir. 120 Bighas land of the temple under encroachment of illegal occupants in the area have been freed by @assampolice and district administration. Such squatters would be evicted from all parts of Assam to protect our land and the Assamese identity from encroachers and intruders.”
Summary- On Thursday (23 September), two civilians were killed and nine policemen injured. An anti-encroachment drive in Darrang district (Assam) blew up into a brutal clash between the police and people protesting eviction. On camera, police in riot gear and armed with guns and sticks chased and attacked protesters and even firing shots. Police said, “Local people have attacked them with the stones and they had to use force”.