Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the eviction in Darrang district were done as per the villager's consent. He further said that the villagers had agreed but created ruckus the next day. They promised me no resistance, the Chief Minister said after the ongoing eviction drive turned violent on Thursday leading to the death of at least two civilians.
"Evictions were done as per their consent. I had told them about evictions and that they should ensure no resistance, which they promised. I explained same thing to Congress. They agreed with me and appreciated the decision. They created mayhem the next day", Sarma was quoted saying by ANI.
Sarma earlier on Friday said an inquiry will be carried out after a video went viral of a government cameraman who was seen thrashing a protester, presumably dead, during an eviction drive in the Dhalpur area of Darrang district Thursday.
"State government has an intelligence report that certain people collected Rs 28 lakhs during last 3 months, promising that there'll be no eviction. When they couldn't resist eviction, they mobilised public & created havoc on that day", the CM added.
"We have the names of 6 persons. Prior to the day of incident, PFI visited the site in the name of carrying food items to evicted families. Various evidence are now emerging, implicating certain people, including a lecturer", Sarma said.
Bijay Shankar Baniya, a professional photographer, hired by the district administration was seen kicking a person who was presumably dead. In the viral video, several policemen are seen firing at unseen targets from behind the trees, and a man in vest and lungi running on a dusty street. Baniya ran behind him until the time the men in uniform surrounded the man as gunshots rang in the background
Moinul Haque was father to three children and provider to his two elderly parent. He was growing vegetables in a patch of land that government claimed was not his and evicted him.
Some 800 families were evicted in the drive against encroachments at Dholpur since Monday. The state wants to repossess 4,500 bighas of government land for an agricultural project.