GUWAHATI, Nov 30 – The State Government today heavily deployed police and paramilitary forces in the North Bank areas on the National Highway (NH)-52 to disperse agitating people and thus ensure the arrival of the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project (LSHEP) turbines at the project’s Gerukamukh site. Several agitators received serious injuries in the police action.
At the time of filing this report, the police were resorting to blank fire and lathicharge to disperse the agitators at Dholpur in Lakhimpur district.
This is despite the fact that the expert committee engaged by the Central Government is yet to submit its report on the issues concerning the safety and downstream impact of the project.
It is reported that the police and paramilitary forces have been using force to disperse the agitating public, including the locals and, members of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba-Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), Takam Mising Porin Kebang (TMPK) and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), who were blocking the NH-52 to prevent the Gerukamukh-bound journey of the turbine-laden truck.
The police and paramilitary forces have been using lathis and rifle butts at Jamugurihat, Biswanath Chariali, Bedeti, Sootea and Gohpur to disperse the people. At places they have been dragging the agitating people away from of the National Highway.
This resulted in injuries to many of the AASU leaders and several of them have been hospitalised. One of them is Dhruvajyoti Bora, vice president of the Chayduar College Students’ Union, said AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya.
Thousands of AASU, TMPK and AJYCP members are now blocking the NH at Dholpur to resist the police forces and the progress of the turbine-laden truck, Bhattacharyya said.
Bhattacharyya said AASU and its allied organisations have condemned Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who is holding the Home portfolio, for this development. The AASU has decided to hoist black flags at the local level all over the State and take out torch light processions in the district headquarters tomorrow in protest against today’s police atrocities and the Government’s anti-people stand.
The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) has stated in a statement here today that its members are determined to resist the Gerukamukh-bound journey of the turbine-laden truck even at the cost of their lives.
The Samiti is preparing to resist the truck in Lakhimpur district. KMSS president Raju Bora, general secretary Akhil Gogoi and publicity secretary Kamal Kumar Medhi have made a joint appeal to the people to block the NH- 52 at all the major places of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts.
Meanwhile, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has condemned the police actions on the agitating people as anti-democratic acts. Today’s developments have exposed the anti-people nature of the Government. The Government has sided with the big-capitalists.
The AGP has extended its full support to the ongoing agitation of the people against the mega dam projects, said AGP spokesperson Atul Bora, quoting party president Chandra Mohan Patowary.