One person – identified as Yakub Ali – was killed when police opened fire after a mob had turned violent and attacked policemen on duty apart from pelting stones on vehicular traffic on National Highway 715 in Goalpara district in lower Assam on Friday. Goalpara is about 85 km from Guwahati.
Goalpara SP Amitava Sinha said first about 150 people led by a lawyer called Nazrul Islam had blocked the highway near the southern approach of the Naranayan Setu on the Brahmaputra near Goalpara town on Friday morning. When the police arrested 140 of them and shifted them to the police station, another crowd gathered and blocked the highway, prompting the police to cane them.
“Soon the crowd moved to the railway track alongside the highway and began pelting stones on the police personnel, in the process injuring several of them. They also caused damage to several vehicles moving in the highway. While we first resorted to caning, we were compelled to resort to blank-fire soon, following which one person who sustained a bullet injury later died,” SP Sinha said. The incident took place at around 11:45 AM, he said.
Sinha said Nazrul Islam, the lawyer who led the mob, raised slogans highlighting some problems of the minority community. “Islam has only recently come out on bail after he was arrested along with seven other lawyers for assaulting a member of the Goalpara Foreigners’ Tribunal in February this year. In the past few days he was seeking permission for staging a road blockade, which the district magistrate had denied,” the SP said.
Meanwhile, the Congress party has condemned the Goaplara incident as unwarranted and violation of human rights. Debabrata Saikia, Leader of the Opposition also demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident. Nazrul Islam, who according to police, had organised the road blockade, is reportedly not a member of any political party. (ends)