Congress urges Assam Governor to stop Darrang eviction till rehabilitation announced

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The ‘Association for Protection of Civil Rights’ (APCR) on Monday released a fact-finding report on the eviction drive at Dholapur in Assam on September 23, demanding strict action and compensation to families of Shaikh Farid, Moinul Haque, and others injured in the drive. APCR claimed three people were killed and over 12 were injured in the firing by Assam Police.

The panel comprised five members – Senior Supreme court lawyer Sanjay Hegde, writer and author Farah Naqvi, Fahad Ahmad, Research Scholar at TISS, Delhi University Professor Apoorva Anand, co-founder of Nadeem Khan and Salman Ahmad of APCR. 

The team also claimed that, “No policemen were killed in the eviction drive firing. The drive wanted to remove encroachment to target Assam’s Muslim minority and Bangla-speaking Muslims.” Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Hegde said the team visited Assam and the village to analyse the ground situation.

“The government sent an eviction notice on September 10 but the notice was not delivered. It was delivered on September 19 and residents were asked to vacate within 24 hours. Despite people agreeing to leave, the police attacked those evacuating their homes,” said Hegde.

APCR also claimed that “the eviction drive needs to be seen in a broader political context of the Assam government under Himanta Biswa Sarma, using to pretext of removing the encroachment to target the Muslim minority”.

The report says that families of Moinul Haque and Shaikh Fareed, who were killed as well as those who were injured recounted that the police personnel started attacking them unprovoked. The panel demanded strict action against the police officials involved in the incident. It said the government should announce a comprehensive rehabilitation plan and drop cases registered against locals for protesting against the drive.