The Assam police today launched a brutal crackdown on locals during an anti-encroachment drive in the Darrang district, assaulting them with sticks and even opening fire. Videos from the site show the police excesses, with them thrashing a man who charged at them with a stick and shooting him.
The policemen – in riot gear and armed with sticks and guns – are seen overpowering the man. The blows with sticks don’t stop even as he lies motionless on the ground.
Officially, the police says nine cops and two civilians were injured in the eviction drive at Dholpur.
The 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 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.”
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.”
There was already tension in the area since Monday as 800 families have been evicted.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had tweeted after the eviction drive on Monday, “I am happy and compliment district administration of Darrang and Assam Police for having cleared about 4500 bigha, by evicting 800 households.”
Continuing our drive against illegal encroachments, I am happy and compliment district administration of Darrang and @assampolice for having cleared about 4500 bigha, by evicting 800 households, demolishing 4 illegal religious structures and a private instn at Sipajhar, Darrang. pic.twitter.com/eXG6XBNH6j
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) September 20, 2021