Students file complaint with AHRC against police


Guwahati, Dec 19 : Students of Cotton University and various other colleges have separately lodged complaints with the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) against the police for firing and baton charging people during protests against the new citizenship law on December 11.

Cotton University Students’ Union and students of other colleges under the umbrella body, ‘Assam Chatra Manch’, filed complaints, alleging that police opened fire and baton charged on students who were “peacefully and democratically” protesting against the amended Citizenship Act, leading to “death of five of them and physical injuries to several others”.

They also alleged that there was a “political conspiracy” behind the police action.

Claiming that the authorities were resorting to “open killings”, the students provided newspaper cuttings, photos and video clippings of the police action.

The AHRC has taken suo-motu cognizance of the incident and issued notices to the Assam Chief Secretary Alok Kumar to constitute a high level committee to probe into the deaths of five protesters in alleged police firing and baton charging and injuries during the protest in the city against the amended Citizenship Act.

AHRC Member Naba Kamal Bora on Tuesday directed the chief secretary to submit an exhaustive report within one month of the receipt of the notice after enquiring into the incidents.

Bora asked the authorities to find out the circumstances leading to the deaths of five protesters, injuries to 27 people, arrest of 175 persons and picking up of 1,406 others in connection with the protest across the state.

Referreing to local media reports, the commission said two young boys – Dipanjal Das and Sam Stefford – were killed at Lachit Nagar and Hatigaon in Guwahati, respectively, in police firing and no weapon was found in their hand.

The commission also quoted the media reports about two more protesters-Iswar Nayak and Abdul- being injured in alleged police firing at Udalguri and Lalung Gaon of Guwahati, respectively, on December 12 and succumbed to their injuries at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital.

The news clipping further revealed that another protester Dwijendra Panging, on December 14, reportedly succumbed to his injuries sustained during baton charge by police and some 27 persons sustained injuries during a clash in Guwahati on December 12, Bora stated.

The news items also reveal that till Sunday the Assam Police has arrested 175 persons besides picking up 1,406 others in connection with the protest across the state, he added.

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