A government rally for preparing the youth for army jobs went wrong in central Assam’s Jorhat town on Sunday, leading to a clash between participants and locals. At least a dozen people were injured, one critically, after police and paramilitary forces opened fire to restore order.
Around 4,000 youth had turned up for a pre-recruitment rally following an ad released by the directorate of employment and craftsmen training via the directorate of information and public relations (DIPR). At the venue — a stadium — they discovered that the rally had been ‘cancelled’.
The presence of some members of an NGO instead of army personnel angered the participants who went on a rampage damaging vehicles and shops. Agitated locals retaliated before the security forces resorted to cane-charge and firing rubber bullets.
“We arrested five members of the NGO while bringing the situation under control. Investigation will reveal what their role in the rally was,” Jorhat superintendent of police Amandeep Kaur said.
Whether the army had entrusted the NGO with conducting the rally was not immediately known.