A CRPF personnel on Friday allegedly dragged an Assam MLA by the hair in eastern Assam’s Mariani town after he and his supporters protested the abduction of and assault on two tea growers by miscreants from adjoining Nagaland.
The incident sparked a conspiracy theory as the MLA, Rupjyoti Kurmi, belongs to a group of Congress leaders reportedly opposed to chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s leadership.
Kurmi and his supporters blocked roads leading to Nagaland after the two tea growers were abducted on Thursday. Nagaland authorities handed them, battered and bruised, over to the Assam police at Mariani on Friday morning.
“The demonstrators soon went on the rampage, attacking vehicles from Nagaland and assaulting passengers,” a police officer said. “The police and CRPF personnel had to resort to a lathi-charge to bring the situation under control,” he added.
Kurmi accused the CRPF personnel of manhandling him. “A CRPF man pushed and dragged me by the hair. If this happens to an MLA, imagine the plight of a commoner,” he told HT, adding that 20 of his supporters were injured.
Legislators cutting across party lines condemned the manhandling of Kurmi. “This could be a conspiracy,” said Congress legislator Chandan Sarkar, who, like Kurmi, belongs to the dissident camp.
Assam and Nagaland are embroiled in a bitter border row since the 1970s, necessitating the deployment of the CRPF along the inter-state border. A case in this regard is pending in the Supreme Court.