Darang Violence: Assam CM Sarma orders judicial inquiry, says eviction drive ‘did not happen overnight’

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday said he has ordered a judicial inquiry into the violence during the eviction drive at Sipajhar in Darrang district, with over 11 policemen also injured in the untoward incident.

“We will investigate how the cameraman came to the spot and why he tried to dominate the man,” he said.

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Sarma said the eviction drive was urgent and added that it was not done overnight.

“It was necessary. It didn’t happen overnight, discussions were going on for four months. Congress delegation met me and agreed on allotment of land to the landless… 27,000 acres of land should be put to productive use… There was a temple, which was also encroached upon,” he said, ANI reported.

Sarma said that the state government did not expect any resistance from the people.

“The eviction drive was launched with an agreed principle… 2 acres of land would be provided to the landless as per the land policy, the representatives agreed. We did not expect any resistance, but around 10,000 people joined the Assam Police. Ghered and used violence, then the police retaliated.

The Assam chief minister also asked who instigated the violence.

Sarma said, “You can’t humiliate the state government with a video… Since 1983, the area is known for killings.. Otherwise, people generally don’t occupy the temple land.”

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“I have seen encroachments all around. A peaceful eviction drive was agreed upon, but who instigated?” He asked.

At least two people lost their lives after clashes in Sipajhar on Thursday, as thousands protested the government’s ongoing eviction drive against “illegal encroachers”.