RAHA, July 15 - At least one person was killed and over 20 people, including two additional Superintendents of Police, were injured today in clashes between police and protesters demanding shifting of the AIIMS from Changsari to here.
�We have got reports of one person being killed. He was injured in the clash and we had sent him to hospital. He was declared brought dead,� Raha Circle Officer Pallavi Kachary told PTI.
The administration is, however, yet to ascertain the exact cause of the protester�s death, she said.
Kachary said the protesters went on a rampage here in Nagaon district and smashed many government vehicles. They also damaged the Circle Office building and other installations.
�In the clash, at least 20 people are injured, although we cannot verify the exact number at this moment,� she said.
Protesters have, however, claimed that more than 50 of them were injured.
Nagaon Superintendent of Police Yshey Tshewang Gyatso said the deceased was injured when he fell down while running and people ran over him and he died later.
Trouble began in the morning when about 2,000 people, under the aegis of a newly formed body, blocked NH37 here to press for their demand for setting up of the AIIMS here instead of at Changsari.
�The highway is the only link between Lower and Upper Assam and other NE States. So we had requested them (the protesters) to at least clear the highway so that traffic could move. However, they did not listen and started throwing stones at us,� Gyatso said.
The police, left with no other option but to use force to evict them, resorted to lathicharge, tear-gassing and fired in the air to disperse the crowd, he said.
Gyatso said at least 12 police personnel were injured in stone pelting by protesters. �Our two Additional SPs � Hiranya Kumar Barman and Abdel Quadir Arief � were injured. Thankfully all of us were wearing helmets and so there was no serious injury,� he said.
The agitation left thousands of vehicles stranded on the highway for over four hours. � PTI
Our Staff Reporter adds: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next-of-kin of the deceased who died at Raha today. He also announced a financial aid of Rs 50,000 each to the injured.
The Chief Minister also directed a four-member team of legislators, led by Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, to visit the place and take stock of the situation.
The Chief Minister also appealed the people to maintain law and order in the area.
An one-member inquiry commission, headed by Additional Chief Secretary Rajib Bora, has also been ordered to probe the incident.