Guwahati: Five of the six persons accused by Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa of instigating violence in Sipajhar on September 23 have rejected the claims.
Two persons were killed, and 19 others, including 11 policemen, were injured in the clashes at Gorukhuti under the Sipajhar revenue circle in Darrang district on September 23.
In July, the state allocated ₹ 9.60 crore for an agricultural project known as the Garukhuti project to be set up in the current site of conflict. The objective of the project is to carry out agriculture and afforestation by “involving indigenous youths” after making the area encroachment free.
Following the deaths and injuries, the Assam government ordered a judicial probe under a retired High Court judge to conduct the probe into causes and circumstances of the incident.
“Before the day of the incident, in the name of carrying food articles to the evicted family, the members of Popular Front of India (PFI) visited the site. As of now, various evidence is emerging implicating certain people including one lecturer from one college of Assam has also visited the site. The government is enquiring about the matter in detail because eviction was done against 60 families. It is yet to be ascertained from where those 10,000 families have come. Once the judicial enquiry starts, we will have a lot more explosive information,” the chief minister told reporters in Guwahati on Friday.
According to the report, the six persons are Abdur Rahman Biswash, vice president, All Assam Minority Stunts Union (AAMSU); Ainuddin Ahmed, advisor, AAMSU; Jiarul Hoque, president, Darrang Ittehad Front; Nur Islam, president, state Ittehad Front and Sariful Islam, president of CFI.
Five of the accused on Sunday said that they have neither link with the Popular Front of India (PFI) nor they visited the sport to instigate the encroachers to attack police personnel.
However, Sariful Islam, president, Campus Front of India, was not available for comment.
Nazir Hussain Sarkar, a lecturer at the Kharupetia College, whose name was in the forefront, said he was not in Kharupetia on the day of the incident.
“The eviction drive was conducted for two days. I was not aware of it. I did not even go there. I was in college on September 20. On September 23 I had to go to Guwahati for the entrance test of my daughters for admission to Delhi University. The whole day I was in Guwahati. I arrived here at 9 pm,” Sarkar told EastMojo.
“I do not know why my name was dragged with the incident. The chief minister has ordered a judicial probe. I have trust and faith in the judiciary. Everything will be clear only after the report of the judicial panel is published,” Sarkar added.
“Then people of Assam will know the truth. I have been with innocent people. I visited the places for several educational awareness meetings. Last year also, I visited for setting up of a college there. We started a college there to educate the boys and girls of the char,” he continued. “But due to eviction, the project got halted. So I visited the char many times for an educational purpose. AASMU had also invited me for several meetings,” he further said.
“I am deeply pained with the complaints. I know nothing of it. I am surprised to know it,” he added.
AAMSU vice president Abdur Rahman Biswas said, “Yesterday some news channels aired a list of six persons for instigating encroachers for violence in Gorukhuti. The list is prepared by the intelligence department. My name was also on the list. I want to inform chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma through you that the intelligence report is far from the truth.”
“They said there was a deal of Rs 28 lakh for stopping the eviction. The name of two persons of AAMSU also came here. If they can prove that we took a single paisa from the encroachers, we will surrender before the police immediately,” he said.
“I took part in a sit-in demonstration programme of Minority Sangrama Parishad at Dalgaon on September 23 from 11 am to 1 pm. And the violence took place between 12.30 pm and 1 pm. How can I be involved in the incident when I was in a far off place? The government should prove it and make public the things. We demanded a judicial inquiry,” he said.
“If they can’t prove it we will take legal action against them as they have mailed the image of our organisation,” he added.
Another accused, state Ittehad Front president Nur Islam said, “It is a baseless allegation. They have to clarify by which word I instigate the encroachers for the violence. If they manipulated our statement condemning the inhuman police action on encroachers, we have no other option but to wait for the report of the judicial panel.”
“Let them find out a word from my mouth which instigated the encroachers for the violence. We react to the incident only after September 23. Earlier, we issued a statement on the September 20 eviction drive. The home department is under the chief minister himself. They have violated human rights during the eviction drive. They assaulted a dead person. Even an official cameraman continued to beat him after his death. The protest erupted in entire India. Now the chief minister is trying to divert the issue. I have full trust in the judiciary. Let the inquiry find out the truth,” he added.
AAMSU advisor Ainuddin Ahmed said, “The government is hatching a conspiracy by dragging my name into the case. But really, it is the failure of the government to maintain law and order. Many people came out to protest. I also went out. I was the mediator between the administration and the public. The discussion concluded that the administration will show land to the people for rehabilitation. And I came back from the spot. But they did not show land to the people. Later I heard that there was a firing in the place and two persons were killed. Let the government prove that I was there during the firing. There is no question of instating the people from my side. The govt should order inquiry by a sitting judge of the high court,” he also said.
Darrang Ittehad Front president Jiarul Hoque said, “My name was included in the list prepared by the police. But the saddest thing is that I have been sick for more than 10 days. I can’t come out of the house due to my sickness. The government is trying to tame the minority leaders by Hitler style so that they can’t protest against injustice to the innocent. I never instigate any person. I did not go to the spot also.”
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