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BREAKING: 2 killed, 10 injured in police firing in Assam

The people were protesting eviction from their homes; police opened fire targeting upper bodies of protesters in contravention of set procedure

Sabrangindia 23 Sep 2021

Police Firing

Just this week, SabrangIndia reported on how on September 20, nearly 200 families, all hailing from the minority Muslim community were evicted from their homes in Fuhuratoli in Darrang District of Assam. After their modest huts were demolished, purportedly to make space for a community farming project, the evicted families were left to the mercy of elements amidst heavy rainfall, floods and Covid-19. In latest developments, after a fresh round of evictions, 150 more huts were demolished in the same area today, on September 23. 

Given how people were served notice only last midnight, the residents understandably protested. But the police personnel present at the spot retaliated by opening fire. Two people have been killed in the police firing so far. They have been identified as Saddam Hussain and Sheikh Forid. At least 10 others are said to be injured.

Images sent by eye-witnesses present on the spot show how instead of firing only below the knee as is mandated by law, police opened fire on the upper bodies of protesters. Images available with SabrangIndia show bullet injuries to the chest, stomach and even the face and head of people. Some of the injured also appear to be just teenagers.

TRIGGER WARNING: Disturbing images

Police Firing

assam

Police Firing

assam

Police Firing

Police Firing

This is a developing story and will be updated with more information.

Ever since Himanta Biswa Sarma became Assam’s chief minister, the eviction initiative appears to have become his pet project. Unmoved by the plight of people rendered homeless amidst a deadly pandemic, that too in a flood-prone riverine region during the monsoon season, Sarma flaunted his support for the evictions carried out on September 20:

At the time of going to press, he was yet to offer any official statement about the police firing on September 23, 2021.

But what is truly shocking is that it appears that the eviction drives are disproportionately targetting members of the Muslim community.

Here are a few examples of recent evictions:

May 17, 2021 - 25 families evicted of Dighali chapori, Laletup, Bharaki Chapori, Bhoirobi and Baitamari in Sonitpur District. These are flood-prone riverine areas.

June 6, 2021 - 74 families evicted from Kaki in Hojai District. Roughly 80 percent of the population here is Muslim.

June 7, 2021 - 49 families evicted from Dhalpur, Phuhurtuli in Darrang District. All, except one family, are Muslim.

August 7, 2021 - 61 families evicted of Alamganj in Dhubri District. 90 percent of the population here is Muslim. 

September 20, 2021 - Around 200 families evicted from Fuhuratoli, Dhalpur in Darrang District.

Related:

Are encroachment removal drives in Assam selectively targeting the minority community?
Heartless government poised to evict thousands amidst Covid-19, monsoon in Assam
Assam: 25 hutments demolished by Sonitpur district administration amidst Covid's deadly second surge
Encroachers to be evicted from Bodoland Territorial Region

BREAKING: 2 killed, 10 injured in police firing in Assam

The people were protesting eviction from their homes; police opened fire targeting upper bodies of protesters in contravention of set procedure

Police Firing

Just this week, SabrangIndia reported on how on September 20, nearly 200 families, all hailing from the minority Muslim community were evicted from their homes in Fuhuratoli in Darrang District of Assam. After their modest huts were demolished, purportedly to make space for a community farming project, the evicted families were left to the mercy of elements amidst heavy rainfall, floods and Covid-19. In latest developments, after a fresh round of evictions, 150 more huts were demolished in the same area today, on September 23. 

Given how people were served notice only last midnight, the residents understandably protested. But the police personnel present at the spot retaliated by opening fire. Two people have been killed in the police firing so far. They have been identified as Saddam Hussain and Sheikh Forid. At least 10 others are said to be injured.

Images sent by eye-witnesses present on the spot show how instead of firing only below the knee as is mandated by law, police opened fire on the upper bodies of protesters. Images available with SabrangIndia show bullet injuries to the chest, stomach and even the face and head of people. Some of the injured also appear to be just teenagers.

TRIGGER WARNING: Disturbing images

Police Firing

assam

Police Firing

assam

Police Firing

Police Firing

This is a developing story and will be updated with more information.

Ever since Himanta Biswa Sarma became Assam’s chief minister, the eviction initiative appears to have become his pet project. Unmoved by the plight of people rendered homeless amidst a deadly pandemic, that too in a flood-prone riverine region during the monsoon season, Sarma flaunted his support for the evictions carried out on September 20:

At the time of going to press, he was yet to offer any official statement about the police firing on September 23, 2021.

But what is truly shocking is that it appears that the eviction drives are disproportionately targetting members of the Muslim community.

Here are a few examples of recent evictions:

May 17, 2021 - 25 families evicted of Dighali chapori, Laletup, Bharaki Chapori, Bhoirobi and Baitamari in Sonitpur District. These are flood-prone riverine areas.

June 6, 2021 - 74 families evicted from Kaki in Hojai District. Roughly 80 percent of the population here is Muslim.

June 7, 2021 - 49 families evicted from Dhalpur, Phuhurtuli in Darrang District. All, except one family, are Muslim.

August 7, 2021 - 61 families evicted of Alamganj in Dhubri District. 90 percent of the population here is Muslim. 

September 20, 2021 - Around 200 families evicted from Fuhuratoli, Dhalpur in Darrang District.

Related:

Are encroachment removal drives in Assam selectively targeting the minority community?
Heartless government poised to evict thousands amidst Covid-19, monsoon in Assam
Assam: 25 hutments demolished by Sonitpur district administration amidst Covid's deadly second surge
Encroachers to be evicted from Bodoland Territorial Region

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