Two Muslim men and several others were injured after police opened fire on people during clashes that broke out Thursday in the Indian state of Assam.
This incident occurred as the police were tasked by the government to clear more than a hundred kilometres of government land in the Dholpur Gorukhuti area of the Darrang district of Assam state from “illegal settlers” who are mostly Bengali-speaking Muslims.
The government said it would launch an investigation into the killings of Sheikh Farid, 17, and Maynal Haque, 27, as well as several others who were injured during the firing.
A viral video on social media shows a group of police officers subsequently beating and shooting a man in the chest as he lies unconsciously on the ground.
A government-employed photographer, named Bijay Shankar Bania, was also seen beating and jumping on the dead person. He was later arrested by the local police for the actions.
The evictions targeted the Bengali-speaking Muslim population of Sipajahar with the aim of giving the land to indigenous communities who did not own land for agricultural purposes. It is known that around 1,200 to 1,300 families were expelled from the area.
The head of the state minister (CM), Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the police were attacked with stones and sharp weapons while carrying out their duties. There was also a firing from the police. He added the eviction drive will continue.
He also said that four religious buildings thought to be mosques and one private institution were also demolished in this incident.
Criticism of the eviction came from several parties, including Kapil Sibal, a senior advocate and member of the upper house of the Indian parliament. Sibal expressed his concern over the police’s brutality and the silence of the government via Twitter. He also demanded that the courts intervene.