BY Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, July 17: A CRPF official and a Class IX student were killed and several others, including four CRPF personnel, wounded when a CRPF jawan opened indiscrimite fire during a peaceful protest on NH 31 at Tihu in lbari district today.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the CRPF jawan, who hails from Silchar, opened unprovoked fire on his colleagues and nearby protestors, killing ASI DC Bordoloi of the central force as well as a protestor. The deceased protestor has been identified as Himangshu Tamuli, a student of Tihu Boys High School.
Four CRPF personnel - ASI Nirmal Das, havildar DR Bordoloi, constable J Mahalaya and constable DK Bania - also sustained bullet injuries, while about five protestors were hurt in the ensuing mayhem. lbari ADC Mrigesh Barua also sustained minor injuries in the incident. Four of the injured were rushed to GMCH.
The Tihu Mahkuma Prostuti Samity, backed by the local unit of AASU, were staging a peaceful NH 31 blockade at Tihu, demanding creation of Tihu subdivision, when the CRPF jawan went berserk. MLA Monoranjan Das and former MLA Moloya Barman were also among the 200-odd protestors.
A district administration official pounced on the shooting CRPF jawan and controlled the situation from further damage. The jawan, identified as Amol Kumar Das, has been taken into police custody.
lbari superintendent of police Bedanta Madhav Rajkhowa said the accused CRPF jawan also tried to kill himself after the shooting spree. “We have taken him into custody,” he said.
Sources said the accused jawan Amol Kumar Das was involved in a tiff with the ASI over a woman, a widow of a jawan who died few months ago. The woman, who hails from Pathsala, was present at the protest site at Tihu today. ASI Bordoloi was even seen having tea with the woman at a nearby eatery, after which a brawl broke out between him and Das. AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi strongly criticized the action of the CRPF personnel and demanded exemplary punishment to the accused.
Sodou Asom Karmachari Parishad, AGP, CPI(M), KMSS and others have also condemned the jawan’s action. APCC secretary Sailen Kalita said that declaration of Tihu as sub-division has been a long-standing demand backed by all organizations and parties in the plac,e and so urged the Chief Minister to endorse it.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said compensation to next to kin of the deceased and injured will be provided as per norms.
He added that high stress was a primary reason for such unexplained behaviour by men in uniform, pointing to rising incidence of cases of suicide among police and paramilitary forces.