GUWAHATI, Dec 26 � Security forces evicted the anti-mega dam protesters from the three sites of Ranganadi, Chauldhowaghat and Gogamukh on the NH-52 in the wee hours today. Police applied �brutal force� while evicting the protesters, resulting in injury to several of them, alleged the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS).
Members of the KMSS are taking part in the NH-52 blockade programme since December 16, along with the members of Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), Takam Mising Porin Kebang (TMPK), the All Assam Tai-Ahom Students� Union (AATASU) and the All Assam Deuri Students� Union (AADSU).
The police action led to serious resentment among the people of both the districts of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji and at several places people engaged themselves in pitch battles with the police, compelling the police to resort to lathicharge and blank fire in North Lakhimpur town and Chauldhowaghat. District administration of Lakhimpur has clamped Section 144 of the CrPC prohibiting assembly of more than five people in public places.
Till this evening, thousands of people were squatting on the NH-52 at several places of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts and at many places they dumped boulders and felled trees to block the highway, KMSS general secretary Akhil Gogoi said.
Meanwhile, the five organisations sponsoring the road blockade programme called for a 48-hour bandh in the two districts of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji from 6 am today in protest against the police action and they claimed that the bandh was total today But, about 100 vehicles, most of them belonging to the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), were damaged by the bandh supporters.
The organisations sponsoring the agitation have demanded immediate scrapping of the Lower Subansiri Hydel Power Project and other mega-dam hydel projects proposed in Arunachal Pradesh. They have also demanded immediate release of those agitators who are still under police custody and restoration of their three camps at Ranganadi, Chauldhowaghat and Gogamukh.
According to the KMSS general secretary around 1,000 protesters were picked up by the police from the three sites of Ranganadi, Chauldhowaghat and Gogamukh between 2-15 am and 2-30 am, while they were taking part in the road blockade programme defying severe cold weather conditions of around 7 degree Celsius
The protesters were brutally beaten up and even the elderly, female and minor protesters of the Ranganadi site were also not spared by the police. The Deputy Inspector General of Police of the Northern Range was leading the police party at the Ranganadi site, Akhil Gogoi said.
In all, sixteen agitators including KMSS president Raju Bora, its Lakhimpur district president Bhupen Gogoi and Sonitpur district organizing secretary Mohan Das have been arrested. KMSS member Pona Orang, who was picked up from the Ranganadi site has remained entraced till this evening, Gogoi said.
Our Silapathar Correspondent adds: The 48-hours Dhemaji-Lakhimpur bandh called by Takam Mising Porin Kebang (TMPK) and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) passed off peacefully at Silapathar and its adjoining areas like Kulajan, Dimow, Sissiborgaon, Sripani, Silasuti, etc.
During the bandh financial institutions, schools and colleges, business establishments etc. remained closed.
The bandhs, which was supported by several organisations like AJYCP, MMK, Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti, Deori Students� Union, was called in protest against the police atrocities on the protesters against mega dams.