Two civilians were reportedly killed in brutal police action on Thursday in Sipajhar area of Assam’s Darrang district. The Assam government has ordered an inquiry by a retired judge of the Gauhati High Court into the killings and the circumstances leading to the incident.
Scroll.in reported that at least three people were feared dead in the incident in which police opened fire on those protesting against an eviction drive.
Assam CM says “the action will continue”
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told journalists on Thursday evening that the eviction drive will continue, the Hindustan Times reported. “Police are doing their duty…As per my information, people attacked the police with machetes, spears and other things,” Sarma said. “Eviction has restarted [after the violence] and will continue tomorrow as well.”
According to local accounts, late on Wednesday night, the administration served an eviction notice to residents of Kirakota Char. Protests erupted on Thursday morning. After this, the administration reportedly promised that the villagers will be rehabilitated before the eviction. Once activists left the area, the police opened fire on the protestors, residents alleged.
A video widely shared on social media platforms after the incident shows policemen opening fire and then falling upon a protestor who was running towards them with a stick. A few seconds later, he lies motionless on the ground, apparently shot in the chest. A photographer accompanying the police is seen repeatedly assaulting the man as he lies on the ground and police personnel stay spectating it.
Assam Special Director General of Police GP Singh defended police firing. The Photographer is reportedly arrested later.