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Assam: Eviction drive turns bloody, encroachers refuse to leave site, Police resort to fire

GUWAHATI: Amid Darrang district and police administration’s bid to free the government’s land of Garukhuti area under Sipajhar revenue circle from encroachers, several police personnel were grievously injured. According to the Assam government only two casualties have been reported so far. The locals, however, claimed that three people lost their lives on spot.

According to statement released by the top officials of the the district administration, the protestors opposed to the eviction drive in “Zone 3” of the Garukhuti area had gathered in large numbers in the morning, following which top echelons of the district and police administration, including the Darrang Deputy Commissioner, Inspector-General of Police (Law & Order), Superintendent of Police, among others, engaged in a discussion with the protesters.

After several rounds of negotiations, the protestors, which included children and women, dispersed from the eviction site, agreeing to the offer of resettlement and rehabilitation by the government, following which the administration resumed the eviction drive.

However, some miscreants among the protestors, instead of leaving the site with the rest, took shelter behind the bamboo groves and bushes in the vicinity and ambushed the police personnel engaged in eviction drive with machetes, spear and other crude weapons.

Meanwhile during an unexpected attack, several police personnel sustained severe injuries and retreated from the area to avoid further confrontation.

The miscreants resumed attacks on the retreating police personnel, following which the men in uniform had to resort to use of force in self-defense, in which a few civilians were injured.

The administration has stated that all the injured police personnel as well as the civilians are provided with necessary medical care.

After the horrific incident, questions of sensitivity, dignity, as well as human beings towards humans have been raising since a clip of the Dahalpur Police firing incident has gone viral which shows official photographer of Assam Police jumping over a body of a man lying motionless after the police firefight.

In the viral video, Assam Police personnel and the photographer were seen repeatedly hopping over the motionless body.

ALSO READ:Two killed, several injured in police firing in Assam’s Dhalpur

However, a Facebook post claimed that the photographer who jumped over the motionless body is Bijoy Shankar Banaia, a photographer of the Assam police Darrang district.

According to the local people, as many as three civilians lost their lives while several have been injured during a protest against eviction drive at Dhalpur in Darrang district this afternoon.

The deceased persons have been identified as –Saddam Hussain, son of Monser Ali, Forid, son of Khaleque Ali, and Juban Ali son of Habel Ali, locals claimed.

The violence erupted in Dholpur after at least 800 families, occupying about 4,500 bighas of land Darrang were evicted as part of the state government’s drive against “illegal encroachments” on Monday.

According to reports, the administration served an eviction notice to inhabitants of Kirakota Char on Wednesday night.

Continuing the eviction process, the Assam government today went for eviction in Dhalpur are of Sipajhar where they met with severe protest from the locals over the eviction which led to a clash between the police and the locals.

According to sources, over 10,000 encroachers were protesting at the no 3 area against the eviction drive.

In an attempt to control the crowd police opened fire, killing three people and injuring several others.

The evictions are being carried out more than three months after CM Sarma threatened to evict alleged illegal encroachers, most of whom are Muslims of Bengali descent, for infringing on government land.

This is despite a court order stating that no evictions would be carried out during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The court’s pandemic-related order from May 10 states, “Any decree for eviction/dispossession or demolition which was passed by any court, tribunal or authority during this period shall stay in abeyance subject to any particular orders which may be passed in a given case.”

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