Hailakandi: A man was arrested in Assam’s Cachar district for the breach of an embankment of the Barak river, which led to the devastating floods in Silchar town, police said on Saturday.

Kabul Khan, a resident of the Bethkundi area, was nabbed from his house on Friday night, they said.

Khan had allegedly filmed a video of the breach, which Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had shown to the people when he had visited the embankment site on Friday.

Sarma had asked the people to identify the voices in the video, subsequently, Khan was identified.

He was detained for interrogation and later arrested, a senior police officer said.

YouTube video

Efforts are on to identify the others involved in the incident, he said.

The district administration maintains that the embankment was breached by miscreants, while locals claim that it was already damaged since the floods in May and they have been urging the authorities to repair it.

As repeated appeals to repair it fell on deaf ears, some people of the area dug the embankment so that the water that entered their houses could recede into the river, locals said.

However, as levels of the Barak river rose, water started entering through the breached embankment on June 19.

Terming the flood “man-made”, Sarma on Friday said that a case has been registered and the CID will investigate the matter.

Sharing his reaction, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) secretary Sanjeev Roy told EastMojo on Saturday that the embankment in Bethukandi had been in a pitiable condition since 2019 and the Congress had submitted several memoranda to the administration demanding its repairs, but no step was taken. “The administration, water resources department and the Assam government have been totally oblivious. The disaster in Silchar happened only due to the carelessness of the government and authorities concerned,” he claimed.

Silchar, the second biggest urban sprawl in Assam after Guwahati and the biggest town in Barak Valley, faced most one of the most devastating floods in its history. Most of the localities remained inundated under floodwaters for more than a week last month and people suffered without food, drinking water and other essentials. The situation has improved substantially in many areas, however, people in a number of areas are still suffering. Water has receded from most of the roads, but lanes and by-lanes are still submerged in a few areas.

Public health engineering (PHE) minister Jayanta Malla Baruah, during his recent visit to Silchar, told reporters that property worth more than Rs 1000 crore had been damaged in floods in Silchar this year.

Also read: NDDB donates for cattle feed procurement in flood-hit Assam

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