Home » News » 2 Killed, Several Injured in Assam Eviction Drive Violence, Photographer Bijoy Bania Sent To 14 Day Judicial Custody

Shocking visuals surfaced all over the internet on the Thursday evening after the fourth day of the Assam government’s eviction drive. The government has ordered a probe into the firing incident and killing of two protestors which will be headed by a Gauhati High court judge. Several civilians and 10 police personnel have reportedly been injured during the clash.

“The Government in the Home and Political Departments have decided to institute an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the death of two civilians and injury of several others including police personnel in the firing incident that took place at Dhalpur area in Sipajhar Revenue Circle, under Darrang District on September 23, 2021,” Home and Political Department secretary Debaparasad Misra announced.

#ArrestBijoyBaniya Trends On Twitter

A photographer, Bijoy Shankar Bania who was hired by the district administration to document the situation has been arrested and sent to 14-day judicial custody. His case has been handled by CID. CID has registered a case against him under Section 307 (attempt to murder) and Section 353 (obstruction of duty by the police) of the Indian Penal Code.

On Thursday, Bijoy’s video of stomping, jumping, and punching a man, who was lying motionless after being hit by a bullet in his chest, went viral over social media leading to outrage among the netizens. His barbarity was criticised.

Why Protestor Was Shot Dead?

In another video that emerged, the policemen were seen firing at the unseen targets from behind the trees. A villager in a lungi and vest was seen running towards the police with a lathi in his hand. The police opened fire on him, he fell to the ground and the police kept raining batons on him. Seconds later, a man in a civil dress with a camera in his hand (Bijoy Shankar Bania) could be seen jumping and thrashing the dead body.

Assam’s Anti-Encroachment Drive

On Monday, Assam government started the anti-encroachment drive to evict ‘illegal encroachers’ in Dhalpur that is populated mostly by Muslims of East Bengal origin. The government wants to use the land for the multi-crore ‘Garukhuti Project’ by using it for afforestation and agricultural activities.

Before the elections, Bharatiya Janata Party had promised to free the government land from encroachers and allot it to indigenous people.

Eviction So Far

In June

  • 70 families were evicted from Hojai’s Lanka.
  • 25 families from Jamugurihat, Sonitpur were evicted.

On September 20

  • 800 families occupying 4,500 bighas were evicted from Dholpur 1 and Dholpur 2 in Darrang’s Sipajhar.
  • 3 Mosques and One Kabristan (Burial ground) Bulldozed

September 23 eviction drive turned into brutal clashes.

Eviction Without Rehabilitation

Not only the opposition but the barbarity of the incident and eviction drive itself is being condemned by the citizens of the country. Police claimed two casualties – Saddam Hussain and Sheikh Forid. However, local activists claim that three villagers had died.

It was reported that the administration “promised that the villagers will be rehabilitated before the eviction”. But as soon as activists left the protesting site, police allegedly opened fire on the protestors.

Congress MP from Assam, Abdul Khaleque wrote a letter to Gauhati High Court and tweeted, “Considering the Covid-19 Pandemic, a full bench of Hon’ble Gauhati High Court headed by Chief Justice, vide its order dated 10.05.2021, has ordered that any decree for eviction/ dispossession or demolition should remain in abeyance.”

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