MANGALDAI: The second day's eviction drive at Dhalpur No. 2 on Thursday suddenly turned violent when a large number of encroachers attacked the police team. In retaliation, the police had to fire to disperse the mob and killed two encroachers. Six police personnel also got injured in the fracas.
One of the two killed was Sheikh Hamid (12), son of Khalek Ali of Kirakara under Sipajhar Police Station. The other unidentified man succumbed to his injuries on his way to Sipajhar PHC.
Among the six injured police personnel, DSP Amitabh Choudhury, Armed Branch Sub-Inspector Moniruddin Ahmed of 4 APBn and Armed Branch Inspector Narayan Sarma got referred to the GMCH (Gauhati Medical College and Hospital) in a critical condition.
After the successful eviction drive conducted by the District Administration at Dhalpur No. 1 and Dhalpur No. 3 on September 20, officials of the District Administration, accompanied by a large contingent of security personnel, today started the eviction drive at Dhalpur No. 2 to clear the encroached government land to pave the way for cultivation under 'Project Gorukhuti'.
The eviction drive led by Magistrates was peaceful initially in three zones. However, when another team of police and officials reached Molua Sar of Dhalpur No. 2 around 12 'noon', a mob of around 3,000 people staged a sit-in strike to obstruct the police team. However, AAMSU activist Ainuddin Ahmed tried to pacify the agitated mob and started the discussion with the Deputy Commissioner at the open field. Deputy Commissioner Prabhati Thaosen and Additional Deputy Commissioner Pankaj Deka assured the evicted encroachers that the administration would provide them drinking water, medical facilities, tarpaulin etc. The District Administration also reiterated the government's decision to provide 1,000 bighas of land for the rehabilitation of the evicted encroachers in a nearby location. Deputy Inspector General of Police of Central Western Range Brajenjit Singha also appealed to the encroachers to leave the place peacefully to carry out the eviction drive to which the villagers too agreed.
But when the police personnel proceeded to carry on the eviction drive, at the initiative of a section of antisocial elements the encroachers started attacking the police team with sharp weapons like machetes and spears, and pelted bricks. The police initially maintained all possible restraints. By using loudspeakers repeatedly they appealed to the encroachers to retreat. As the police personnel sustained serious injuries, the police had to open fire.
When the police team was proceeding, a section of encroachers set afire their abandoned thatched houses, haystack and dried jute stacks to put blame on the police. Inspector-General of Police (Law & Order) Deepak Kedia, Superintendent of Police Sushanta Biswa Sarma were also present on the spot. With the reinforcement of CRPF and other paramilitary forces, the District Administration completed the eviction drive by the evening.
Sootea legislator and chairman of 'Project Gorukhuti' Padma Hazarika, MP Dilip Saikia and Khumtai MLA-cum-member of the Project Mrinal Saikia rushed to the spot. Guardian Minister of Darrang Chandra Mohan Patowari also reached the spot in the evening to monitor the situation.
Talking to 'The Sentinel' Padma Hazarika said that the government would not bow down before the antisocial elements and would complete the eviction process.