Assam Police Firing: Farmers and workers unions demand justice for victims and survivors

Team of representatives of various unions visits Dhalpur, demands rehabilitation and compensation for affected families

Newer allies are emerging everyday for families affected by forced eviction and police firing in Dhalpur, Assam. This week, a team comprising All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) Joint Secretary and Central Committee Member of CPI-M Dr Vijoo Krishnan, All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU) Joint Secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Dr V Sivadasan, All India Lawyers Union (AILU) President and Rajya Sabha MP Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, Assam Krishak Sabha President Gajen Barman, Treasurer Masaddar Hussein, A.R.Sikdar, Assam AILU Secretary and others visited the region.

Two people, including a 12-year-old boy, had been gunned down in cold blood on September 23, 2021, when Assam police opened fire on a group of families that had been forcibly evicted from their homes. Nearly 200 families, all belonging to the Bengali-speaking Muslim community, were evicted from their homes in Gorukhuti village of the Dhalpur region of Darrant district of Assam on September 20. On September 23, when the families that had been left to the mercy of the elements began protesting the eviction, police opened fire on them. One of the victims was a young boy who was on his way back from the local Aadhaar centre and wasn’t even a part of the protests.

In a press statement released on Tuesday, they announced that monetary assistance was provided to affected parties by the team. “A lakh each was given on behalf of AIKS to the families of the deceased. Some assistance was given to the injured people too,” said the team. Reiterating that the affected families are tax-paying citizens, they said, “While the Assam BJP Government is now claiming these farmers are illegal encroachers they have all relevant documents, have been paying taxes, government schools, anganwadis and ration shops have been built to cater to their needs.”

Further addressing the regime’s divisive agenda, they said, “There seems to be a sinister attempt to create communal polarisation in the region as specifically lands being cultivated by Muslim farmers have been targeted. In other parts tribal people are also being evicted. This is part of a larger conspiracy to hand over farmers’ land to corporate companies. All sections of farmers will resist it peacefully in an united manner.”

They further criticized how the evicton was carried out in an inhuman and illegal manner, leaving familes shelterless. “No proper notice was given and some received notice after demolition of their houses. Their houses have been totally destroyed. Four places of worship are also reported to have been demolished. They are forced to live in makeshift shelters and with onset of rain as well as forthcoming winter, their life is tortuous. Living in extremely inhospitable conditions, without proper sanitation facilities, the threat of the Pandemic as well as other communicable diseases looms large,” said the team.

In light of their visit and findings, the team has listed the following demands:

1. A judicial enquiry by a sitting judge of the Guwahati High Court

2.Dismissal of police authorities responsible for the killings

3. Immediate rehabilitation, guaranteeing of their land rights as well as right to cultivate.

4. Compensation of 25 lakh to families of those killed and 5 lakh to the injured.

5. Free ration with food grains and essential commodities for at least 6 months.

6. Provision of houses to all families.

7. Restarting of Schools, Anganwadis and Primary Health Centres

The team also promised further action saying, “The issue will be raised with the National Human Rights Commission, President of India and legal assistance will be provided to the victims.”



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