KOHORA, Nov 16 - At least 15 people were injured, including the Goanburha of Kohora, Sunil Das, when police and paramilitary forces resorted to lathi-charge followed by firing of tear gas shells at the Kohora Range Office of Kaziranga National Park today.
The incident occurred when hundreds of protesters led by Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) gathered at the Kohora Range Office and demanded an audience with the Director of Kaziranga National Park, MK Yadav in order to get a written assurance that the ongoing eviction drive at Borbeel area of Kaziranga be halted immediately, which the civil as well as forest authorities refused to oblige. This resulted in conflict with the security forces as the protesters tried to enter the office complex of the Kohora Range Office forcefully and pelted stones on the police and office complex, thereby damaging the window panes. The police subsequently resorted to lathi-charge and fired in the air to disperse the violent mob. Most of the tourists present, both domestic and foreign, faced a difficult time.
The agitation has cast its shadow on the tourism industry of Kaziranga. Many observers connected with the tourism sector have opined that instead of violence, a negotiated settlement will help. If the unrest continues, the tourism industry of Kaziranga will be badly hit.
The afternoon session of jeep safari had to be cancelled due to security reasons, informed Jeep Safari Association secretary Ananda Gogoi.