Four persons were killed more than 60 injured after the Assam Police opened fire on protestors in Lower Assam’s Barpeta town on Wednesday.
District officials said the protest, spearheaded by the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) turned violent. Some 5,000 people, they said, resorted to vandalism, forcing the police to fire.
The protestors had converged at the Barpeta district Deputy Commissioner’s office in the morning, demanding rectification in the ongoing pilot project for updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC). They went on the rampage after the DC refused to come out of his office and receive their memorandum.
AAMSU claimed six persons were killed in the firing but the police confirmed four deaths. Among the injured were six policemen who were pelted with stones. The critically injured, 13 at the last count, were rushed to Gauhati Medical College Hospital while 51 others were admitted to the Barpeta Civil Hospital (Barpeta is 220 km from Guwahati).
“The situation is under control and we have clamped Section 144,” said district police chief D. Mukherjee. He added that the army was also called in.
AAMSU held the district administration responsible for the killings. AAMSU president Abdur Rahim Ahmed said, “The police could have fired teargas shells. Instead, they straightway resorted to lathi-charge and firing.”
AAMSU wants the NRC to register Bangladeshis who have migrated to Assam till March 25, 1971 as Indian citizens residing in Assam.