Assam floods: Fifth accused arrested in Silchar embankment breach case

Published on Jul 14, 2022 02:00 PM IST

State officials said on Tuesday that floods and landslides in Assam this monsoon season, one of the worst in decades, have caused damages worth nearly ₹10,000 crore

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (left) interacts with people from flood-affected areas. (ANI Photo)
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (left) interacts with people from flood-affected areas. (ANI Photo)
ByBiswa Kalyan Purkayastha

Assam Police on Tuesday arrested one more person in connection with the alleged embankment breach case in Silchar that caused devastating floods in the state during peak monsoon season.

This is the fifth arrest after chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed last month that the flood in Silchar was a “manmade” calamity. The person arrested has been identified as 26-year-old Raju Deb, a resident of Ashram Road area of Silchar.

According to Cachar superintendent of police Ramandeep Kaur, the police are arresting the accused persons based on video evidence related to the breach of the embankment.

“This person is not a resident of Bethukandi area, but we have evidence of his involvement in destroying part of the embankment there. We arrested him on Tuesday and now interrogation is going on,” Kaur said.

Also Read:Assam flood loss may be around 10,000 crore: Officials

According to police records, Deb was arrested last year for defacing a few posters of the central government’s ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ programme in Silchar; he was released on bail later.

On June 26, CM Sarma said that Silchar’s floods were manmade and would not have happened if the embankment in Bethukandi was not ‘breached’ by ‘some miscreants’. On July 1, Sarma visited Silchar again and said that no person who was involved in the incident will be spared.

Subsequently, the police arrested four people – Kabul Khan, Mithu Hussain Laskar, Nazir Hussian Laskar and Ripon Khan. However, members of the Vishva Hindu Parishad on July 12 alleged that a land mafia racket is responsible for the Bethukandi dyke breach that caused the inundation of almost the entire town.

Sarma on July 1 said that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Assam Police will register a case against six individuals and all arrested persons will be taken to Guwahati for interrogation.

The Cachar SP informed that a team of CID officers is also investigating the matter following the chief minister’s order. “We are investigating the matter from our side and they are investigating it in their own ways. We have not received any order as of now whether the arrested persons will be taken to Guwahati by CID,” she said.

The broken parts of embankments near Silchar town remains a matter of concern for common people. The Cachar district administration on Monday informed on social media that they attempted to pump out the stagnant water from Mahisha Beel but experts suggested that the vibration of big pumps will further break the embankments.

However, residents near Mahisha Beel appealed to the government to help them relocate. “We have been living on the road for more than a month due to the stagnant water of Mahisha Beel. Now, the administration is saying that it is not possible to pump out the water. This seems like endless suffering now,” 45-year-old Aftab Uddin Sodiol said.

Meanwhile, state officials said on Tuesday that floods and landslides in Assam this monsoon season, one of the worst in decades, have caused damages worth nearly 10,000 crore. As many as 193 people have lost their lives, and over 250,000 people have been affected due to the deluge.

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