Two people were arrested on Monday in Assam for allegedly instigating the violence that took place during an eviction drive in the Sipajhar area of Darrang district on September 23, reported The Indian Express.
Two civilians had died in Sipajhar after the Assam Police opened fire at the villagers who were protesting against the eviction. The state government had ordered an inquiry into the incident.
The arrested men have been identified as 37-year-old Asmat Ali Ahmed, a resident of Kirakara village, and 47-year-old Chand Mamud, who lives in Dholpur 3 village.
Darrang Superintendent of Police Sushanta Biswa Sarma told The Indian Express that the men have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy.
“From our investigation, we found that they instigated the protestors, asked them not to leave their homes during the eviction, among other things,” Sarma said.
On September 25, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had hinted at the involvement of the Popular Front of India in the violence. The Popular Front of India is a Kerala-based Muslim organisation that has been accused of terror activities in the past.
The Assam government had been widely criticised for the manner in which the police had handled the situation on September 23.
A video widely circulated after the incident showed policemen opening fire and then falling upon a protestor who was running towards them with a stick. A few seconds later, he lied motionless on the ground, apparently shot in the chest.
A photographer accompanying the police desecrated the body of the man. The photographer, Bijoy Bonia, reportedly a government cameraperson, was later arrested. The Assam Criminal Investigation Department has registered a case against him.
However, on September 25, Sarma had defended the police action claiming that the villagers had attacked them first.
“You have to see the entire video,” the chief minister had said. “The protestors first attacked with a sharp shovel. But we don’t justify or support retaliation. If you have to pick up a part of the video clip, you should show the entire clip, the entire sequence.”