GUWAHATI: Pijush Hazarika, Minister for Water Resources, Parliamentary Affairs of Assam addressed the media on the burning issue of Assam in which violence erupted out between state police officials and protesting encroachers during an eviction drive in Dhalpur, Darrang, killing three civilians and injuring many others, including police officers.
Hazarika said the eviction of the encroachers was carried out in a fair manner by the administration with prior notice.
Even after that, as many as 5,000 encroachers in groups chased after 200-250 policemen, ruthlessly attacking them, forcing them to open fire in self-defense.
Violence erupted in the area after the Assam government continue the eviction process in the area of Sipajhar, where 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.
When the eviction drive started yesterday the police officials met with severe protest from the locals over the eviction which led to a clash between the police and the locals.
Residents of Kirakota Char were handed an eviction notice late Wednesday night, said Minister Hazarika.
However, reports suggest that on Thursday morning, there was a demonstration, following which the administration “promised that the villages would be rehabilitated before the expulsion.”
According to reports, residents told that when the activists left the area, the cops opened fire on the protestors.
Minister Hazarika said the government does not want to kill anybody, but it is the responsibility of an elected government to free government land from illegal encroachment.
“From a humanitarian point of view, it is not acceptable for thousands of encroachers to attack the police in groups,” he added.
“Leaders of the Congress or AIUDF have ignored the incidents of group attacks on the police and in a way have supported the attacks on the police,” he added.
The Assam Government meanwhile decided to institute a judicial inquiry into the incident.
According to an official release, the inquiry would be conducted under the chairmanship of a retired judge of Gauhati High Court.
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