A Guwahati court has directed the Assam Police to register a case against Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for saying that the evictions carried out in Garukhuti village of Darrang district in the state in September was an “act of revenge”.
The Assam government has been conducting widespread eviction drives to clear land allegedly occupied by encroachers.
During one of these eviction drives on September 23, two locals, including a 12-year-old child, were killed in police firing in the Sipajhar area Garukhuti. One of the victims, Moinul Haque, 28, was shot in the chest as he rushed towards a group of policemen and was trampled on by a government photographer.
The land had to be cleared to make way for the Gorukhuti Agricultural Project, an organic farming programme meant to create employment for those considered indigenous to Assam.
On Monday, Congress MP Abdul Khaleque tweeted a copy of the court order against Sarma. The order was passed on March 5.
Khaleque had on December 29 lodged a complaint with the Dispur Police alleging that the chief minister had made an inflammatory speech on December 10 at Morigaon town, but no first information report had been registered in relation to the matter, according to PTI.
In his complaint, Khaleque alleged that Sarma had described the evictions in Garukhuti as an “act of revenge” against the 1983 Assam Agitation when some youths were killed during the protests, PTI reported. He alleged that the comments were communal in nature.
“Betraying his oath on the Constitution, the Hon’ble Chief Minister Dr Sarma has maliciously given a communal colour to what was supposed to be an executive exercise [evictions],” PTI quoted the complaint as saying.
Khaleque then moved the court seeking to directions to the police to register an FIR.
Sub-divisional Magistrate Biswadeep Baruah on Saturday directed the Dispur Police to register an FIR in the case. He observed that the veracity of allegations is not something which can be investigated before filing a case.
“By failing to register the FIR, it appears that the police has failed in discharge of its duty,” states the order.
The court directed the police to carry out investigations at the earliest.