Assam: Heavy security in Dholpur after 2 killed during eviction
The situation remained tense at the Dholpur Gorukhuti area in Assam's Darrang district, where a police firing killed two people on Thursday. With a heavy deployment of security personnel, the district administration has set up temporary camps for the police and the CRPF at the nearby Balua Ghat. The situation at Gorukhuti had turned violent Thursday during an eviction drive by the state government.
What happened yesterday?
On Thursday, villagers of Gorukhuti were protesting against the eviction drive of the state government. However, it turned violent as clashes erupted between the police and the protesting villagers, reportedly injuring dozens, including police personnel. According to the police, some protesters had hurled stones at officials and attacked them with sharp weapons. The police said it fired in "self-defense," which killed two civilians.
'We want justice. How can police fire on innocent people?'
The deceased were identified as Sheikh Farid and Moinul Haque. While Farid was a resident of Dholpur-2, Moinul Haque lived 5-6 kilometers away from Dholpur-3. Farid's father said they were not aware that his son had joined the protest. "Later, we got to know that...he got injured in police firing and succumbed to his injuries...We want justice. How can police fire on innocent people?"
Assam government orders probe
The death of the other protester, Haque, sparked a row on social media after a video showed how he was brutally attacked by a government cameraperson filming the eviction drive and the police. Following this, the state government ordered a probe into Thursday's violence. The probe will be headed by a retired High Court judge. Meanwhile, nine cops were also injured in the clash.
Eyewitness claims 4-5 people still missing
Talking about the incident, a witness told India Today, "...Some people pelted stones at the security personnel when they had gone there to evict the encroachers." Abdul Baset Ali, an eyewitness, said both the death toll and the number of people injured are higher than the government figure. Ali claimed three people were killed and 20-25 were injured, while four-five people are still missing.
800 families rendered homeless by eviction drive
The eviction drive of the state government has rendered 800 families homeless in the Dholpur area on Monday. Notably, the area is mostly populated by Muslims of East Bengal origin. Through this eviction drive, the government has been able to recover 4,500 bighas of state government land. Thursday's incident happened when the administration returned to resume their eviction drive in the area.