Is Assam going the Uttar Pradesh way with bulldozers being the latest weapon to punish rioters? The question seems to be on everyone’s minds after the Assam Police demolished eight houses in Shalnabari, Haidubi and Jamtal belonging to people from these villages who attacked a police station, beat up cops and set vehicles on fire after a youth’s death in custody.
The incident dates to May 21 when the Batdwara police station in Assam’s Nagaon district was set on fire by some people after Shafiqul Islam, a youth from Shalnabari, died in police custody. Islam’s family claimed that he was beaten to death by the police after he was unable to pay bribe to be let off.
Following the attack on the police station, the victim’s brother — Mojibur Rahman — was arrested in a raid on Sunday along with his sister-in-law and four other people.
However, what has changed in the police action this time is that they have employed a new strategy to curb such crimes — using bulldozers.
The move has also triggered a political war of words in the state, with opposition parties condemning the move and calling it against the law. However, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has declared that such crimes will not be tolerated in Assam.
So far, seven people have been arrested in connection with the attack. The DGP of Assam Police has formed an SIT to probe the incident and DIG Satyaraj Bora and Nagaon SP Leena Doley are monitoring the SIT. Led by Nagaon ASP Dhruv Bora, the SIT is conducting day-and-night search operations to find the culprits.
Assam DGP Bhaskarjyoti Mohanta said Bangladeshi fundamentalists may be involved in the incident. Kumud Kumar Gogoi, an officer-in-charge of Batdwara police station, was suspended for negligence in security.
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