At least two protesters were killed and many others, including nine police personnel, injured during clashes between police and locals at Dholpur Gorukhuti area in Assam’s Darrang district on Thursday.
The clashes broke out at a time when a team of security personnel went to the area to evict illegal encroachers from the land belonging to a state farming project. When the security personnel reached the area, thousands of locals gathered and raised slogans against the eviction drive. The Assam cabinet had earlier taken a decision to recover the land completely from encroachers and convert it to a state farming project.
A judicial probe has been ordered by the Assam government in the incident after reports and videos of police brutality emerged.
Meanwhile, a purported video of the incident has gone viral on social media where a photographer is seen kicking a person, presumably dead. The video shows hundreds of policemen firing at unseen targets from behind the trees, and a man in vest and lungi running on a dusty street. A photographer ran behind him until the time the men in uniform surrounded the man as gunshots rang in the background.
The photographer was seen being led out by a policeman, but soon returned, jumped over his body, and hit him with something he had picked up lying close by. The man’s left arm lifted momentarily, before he lay still, with a red circle of blood from a bullet wound on his chest, and a ‘Gomosa’, the traditional stole associated with Assamese pride, lying crumpled beside him.
Bijay Shankar Baniya, a professional photographer, hired by the district administration to document the situation, has been arrested.