Since yesterday morning 27 Nov, the anti-poor BJP government brutally demolished hundreds of homes in the Amsang area near Guwahati, Assam. These belonged to poor peasant and working class Mising, Karbi, Rabha, Dimasa, Bodo, Koch, Kalita, Ahom and other indigenous communities, who have been staying here forever. This was done with the entire State machinery on play: 1,500 police personnel came with their guns, tear gas shells, 15 elephants, 20 excavators, 20 Executive Magistrates, and the entire fuckin Forest department, District Admin, Assam Power Distribution Corp Ltd, State Disaster Response Force, Health and other emergency services.
All this is through the BJP government engaging in a wilful misinterpretation of the HC order, which did not even specify a date for clearing ‘encroachments’. While the truth is that Cement companies AG Cement and Raksha Cement, Tea Gardens, coke calcination, brick kilns are the real encroachers who create havoc with the environment in this reserved forest area. When this simple question was raised, the government of ‘Jati-Mati-Bheti’ and Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma openly defends the Cement and Tea company owners and calls the local population ‘encroachers’!
The Govt immediately brings out the tear-gas shells and the guns. 3 were seriously injured, with one woman protestor, Malati Das, in ICU currently with live bullet injury. Not only this, the Police terrorize and kidnap protestors from across the city, esp. clamping down on KMSS (Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti) with a vengeance in an Emergency-like urgency.
KMSS leader and advisor Bedanta Lashkar, Joint Gen Secretary Dharjya Konwar, and activist Gopi Saikia were arrested from various parts of the city. Why? Only because they were present in solidarity with the protestors. Bedanta and Gopi were not even present in the site, but picked up while coming in a motorcycle in the middle of the city. They were charged with various sections of the IPC and sent to 14 days Jail custody today.
All processes of Justice and Human Rights have meanwhile been subverted. When today morning 28 Nov, Bedanta’s family members and a few KMSS activists reached the CJM court where the 3 leaders were being produced, the Police arrested 3 people standing outside the Court! This includes Bedanta’s father, and two senior KMSS activists, Deben Sharma and one other. Meanwhile, Police ‘hunt’ for other KMSS leaders is on, as they are forced to be ‘absconding’ with not even any cases on their heads. This follows on the heels of KMSS leader and popular peasant leader Akhil Gogoi put under National Security Act for 1 year by this insecure anti-poor pro-corporate Hindutva government.
Update: As Assam burns and protests intensify across the State, meanwhile just few hours back, the 3 arrested outside CJM court have been released and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said further evictions in Amsang will be stopped, though there is no official written communication for the same.