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Anti-eviction protest turns bloody

Police firing claims 3 in Guwahati

GUWAHATI: Three persons including a nine-year-old boy were killed and several others injured when police opened fire to control a mob of protestors who went on a rampage on the arterial Guwahati-Shillong Road near the capital complex at Dispur on Wednesday pelting stones and attacking passing vehicles and public transport.

At least 20 persons including policemen and scribes were injured, at least five of them seriously, during the clash between police and protestors, who had gathered near Dispur under the banner of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS) in protest against the latest drive launched by Assam Government to evict illegal settlers from forest land in and around Guwahati in particular and the State in general.

City SSP Dipak Choudhury and a DSP were also injured in the clash.

The slain persons have been identified as Siva Sharma who died in Gauhati Medical College Hospital, Biren Kalita and nine-year-old Rubul Ali, according to KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi.

Thousands of people gathered near the State’s capital complex on Wednesday noon to protest against the eviction drive.

The protestors even demanded that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi should come to talk to them and assure them that Government would halt the eviction drive that is threatening to render indigenous people homeless.

The protestors pelted stones at the policemen while some miscreants burnt down at least three JNNURM vehicles and damaged several other vehicles including government city buses.

The police were forced to resort to lathi-charge, tear gas shelling and firing to control the mob.

The protestors laid siege to GS Road until late evening while officials of the government led by Lower Assam Division Commissioner and senior police officials were negotiating with the KMSS leadership led by Akhil Gogoi to diffuse the tension in the area.

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