Nineteen people were arrested for assaulting six policemen and a Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) official during an anti-encroachment drive in Devidham Nagar in Digha on Monday.
The arrested accused, who include eight women, were booked for rioting and assaulting public servants. The court has remanded to judicial custody on Tuesday.
According to the police, MIDC officials had demolished several shanties on a plot of land in their area a few days ago too. Over a hundred families were staying in those shanties illegally occupying the land. “On Monday, the MIDC officials fenced the area and installed a few boards stating the ownership of that land. There was strong police bandobast during the drive. The officials also demolished a few shanties which were left the last time. It was then that the people who were evicted from the land, came and started arguing with the officials,” said a police officer from Rabale MIDC police station.
“Within a few minutes the people got enraged and they started hurling stones at the police force and the MIDC officials. Six policemen and one driver MIDC driver were injured in the attack. S Sanap, a police constable, suffered severe injuries on his head and was admitted to a local hospital in Airoli. He has got five stitches on his head,” the officer said.
The cops launched a massive operation to get hold of the culprits following the attack and arrested 19 people within a few hours. One of them was a minor and they let him after some time. “We are trying to identify the others involved in the crime. More arrests are likely,” another police officer said.