Assam: Cops fire at protestors during eviction drive, at least 3 feared dead

At least three people were feared dead, and many injured after Assam police fired upon protestors, who were opposing a land eviction drive, in Assam’s Darrang district on Thursday. Police has not confirmed any casualties so far and said that nine cops and two civilians were injured. However, as per locals three people died in the police firing.

As per reports, the administration served an eviction notice to residents of Kirakota Char late on Wednesday night, after which protests erupted in the area on Thursday morning. After this, the administration reportedly promised that the villagers will be rehabilitated before the eviction. However, locals claimed that once activists left the area, the police opened fire on the protestors.

Frightful visuals of the police brutality during the anti-encroachment drive have surfaced on social media in which cops in huge numbers can be seen with full riot gear, rifles and sticks.

The Assam police is facing widespread condemnation for unspeakable violence against civilians during the anti-encroachment eviction drive.

Sharing the video, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) MLA Ashraful Hussain tweeted, “‘Terror Force’ of fascist, communal & bigoted Govt. shooting at its own citizens. Also, who is the person with camera? Someone from our ‘Great Media’ orgs? The appeal of these villagers, against eviction, is pending in the High Court. Couldn’t the Govt wait till court order?”

Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi also tweeted saying, “Assam is on state-sponsored fire. I stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the state- no children of India deserve this”.

Media reports suggest that over 800 families were rendered homeless after the Assam government carried out a massive eviction drive in Dholpur Gorukhuti village of Darrang district on Monday. The village is populated mostly by Muslims of East Bengal origin. 

Giving further details, Superintendent of Police, Darrang, told NDTV that the locals resisted the eviction drive and started pelting stones. “Our nine policemen were injured. Two civilians were also injured. They have been shifted to the hospital. Now things are normal,” SP Sushanta Biswa Sarma said.

Mr Sarma, who was at the site of the clash, added, “We couldn’t complete the eviction because of the situation. We will assess later. We are returning as of now.”

Earlier this week, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had tweeted after the eviction drive saying, “I am happy and compliment district administration of Darrang and Assam Police for having cleared about 4500 bighas, by evicting 800 households.”