Two days after two people were reported dead and several injured in violent clashes during Assam government's eviction drive, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters on Saturday, 25 September, that members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) had visited the site of the violence one day before the clashes.
Claiming to have the names of six people, Sarma said that the PFI had approached the families that were going to be evicted the next day under the pretence of providing food to them. He also said that the evidence was emerging that would implicate "certain people, including a lecturer".
The Assam state government claims to have intelligence about certain people who told these families that there would be no evictions while collecting Rs 28 lakh in the last three months, reported ANI.
The chief minister said that "when they couldn't resist eviction, they mobilised public & created havoc."
On 24 September, Biswa had said that the drive was 'urgent' and that 11 policemen had been injured in the violence.
"This (eviction drive) was urgent. It was not done overnight, discussions were on for 4 months. Congress delegation had met me and agreed on land allotment to landless... 27,000 acres of land has to be productively used... There was a temple, which was also encroached upon," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
"Eviction drive was initiated with an agreed principle... that landless will be provided 2 acres each as per land policy, representatives agreed. We expected no resistance but about 10,000 people gheraoed Assam Police, used violence, then police retaliated," he added.
What Had Happened
At least two people were reported dead and many other injured during the Assam government's eviction drive in the state's Darrang district on Thursday.
In one of the videos of the incident being shared on social media, police officers could be seen brutally thrashing a local with wooden sticks.
In the video, a lone local charges towards a band of policemen in riot gear. The policemen overpower him and continue to brutalise him even as he lays motionless on the ground.
Another man carrying a video camera is seen pouncing on the unconscious local and beating him. The government cameraperson had subsequently been identified and arrested.
The deceased in the incident had been a 33-year old father of three children. He had supported his family growing vegetables on a patch of land that was taken away from him during the state's anti-encroachment drive, NDTV reported.
His elderly parents, wife, and children expressed their grief over his death at a relief camp inhabited by about 800 families that were evicted on Monday.
"They have killed my son," his father told NDTV, saying, "Are we Bangladeshis? Then send us away!"
An inquiry has been ordered into the local man's death.
"Our 11 police personnel have been injured. We will carry out inquiry on how cameraman came into the scene, and why he tried to overpower that particular person... We have ordered a judicial probe," Sarma was quoted as saying by ANI.
(With inputs from ANI and NDTV.)