Two villagers were killed in police firing during an eviction drive in Assam.
People "forcefully" evicted from Assam's Dhalpur were not illegal migrants and had legacy documents dated before 1971, an independent fact-finding team said almost three months after the eviction drive in Assam in which two villagers were killed and several were injured in police firing.
The 14-member committee which submitted their findings said the people who had been evicted had migrated to Assam before 1971, which is the cut off year to ascertain who is a citizen and who is an illegal foreign migrant in the eastern state, owing to loss of land and were therefore Bonafide residents of Assam.
The team which was formed under journalist and human rights activist Zamser Ali on behalf of Centre for Minority Studies, Research and Development said that they had document proofs to substantiate the findings.
"The answers the team tried to find were not based on mere oral statements, but on facts, figures and documents. The intention of the investigation was neither to defend someone nor to defame anyone. The only the intention of it was to bring the truth before the nation. It was taken up with a view to breaking the myth and assumptions about the poor people of Dhalpur," said Mr Ali said.
On the violence during the eviction drive, the report said that the police did not try to assure village representatives regarding the allotment of land to the evicted families. As the discussion between the police and the villagers was fruitless, the latter put off their protest. But the police starting beating the villagers and this led to clashes.
"The police, without trying to normalize the situation, opened fire on the villagers. This uncalled-for, unwarranted police firing took two lives on the spot. Forty-three people were injured, among them 10 received bullet injuries. On the other side, 14 policemen were injured during this operation," the report stated.
During their 15-day stay in the area the team collected all necessary documents from 960 families who were evicted by contacting each family's head in person. The families that had moved out of their houses were left out of the survey. Information across 21 categories along with supporting documents has been collected by the team and compiled in the report.
As the process was time bound, the team could only cover 517 families.
"We hope this report will help to uncover the reality of Dhalpur as well as the false and phony propaganda of the Sangh Pariwar and the present BJP-led government of Assam," Mr Ali said.