The Assam government’s eviction drive in Darrang district has drawn a lot of ire, as two people lost their lives and nine were left injured, in violent clashes that broke out on Thursday, 23 September.
Videos that have surfaced online, show policemen exerting unrestrained force against locals who came out to protest against the government’s eviction drive.
In one such video, a lone protester was seen charging at a band of policemen with a lathi, when they thrashed him badly, even as he lay motionless on the ground.
A photographer, identified as Bijoy Baniya, who was hired by the district administration to document the eviction drive, was also seen beating up the motionless man identified as Moinul Haque, in the shocking video.
Upon coming back to power, to keep its election promises, the Himanta Biswa Sarma government in the state has embarked on an anti-encroachment drive, in a bid to free up government-owned land from “illegal encroachers” and give them to the “indigenous population”.
The government's actions are seen to have deep political undertones that are likely to heighten communal polarisation on ground, as the affected people mostly belong to the Bengali-speaking Muslim minority community.
Earlier on Monday, the government evicted 800 families, who they accused of illegally occupying 4,500 bighas of land, in Dholpur 1 and Dholpur 3 villages of Sipajhar.
The Sarma government also gave its nod to form a committee to oversee the Gorukhuti project, which aims to utilise 77,000 bighas of government owned land in Sipajhar for "agricultural purposes".