Policemen, district officials booked for murder of two Muslims during eviction drive in Assam

The FIRs were based on complaints filed by family members of 32-year-old Moinul Haque and 12-year-old Sheikh Farid who were killed in police firing during a forced eviction drive in Sipajhar area on 23 September.

Two weeks after the police killing of two Muslims during a forced eviction drive, Assam Police have registered two first information reports against policemen and district officials of Darrang district.

The FIRs were based on complaints filed by family members of 32-year-old Moinul Haque and 12-year-old Sheikh Farid who were killed in police firing during a forced eviction drive in Sipajhar area on 23 September.

The complaints were filed on October 6 and 7, two weeks after the murders, according to the Sentinel Assam.

“Without any reason, the deployed policemen started firing at the crowd that caused a bedlam…Seeing the sudden eruption of chaos, an agitated Haque came towards an area where the police were deployed. Instead of apprehending Haque by any other means, deployed police personnel shot him which led to his death,” the complaint of Ainuddin, a cousin of Haque, stated, according to a report in India Ahead.

In the complaint, Ainuddin named Bijoy Shankar Bania, the photographer of the district administration who stomped on Haque’s body even though he was already injured, a deputy commissioner of police, Darrang’s superintendent of police, and a deputy inspector general of police who were present when the entire incident took place.

Only Bijay Bania, the government cameraperson, was arrested among the accused.

In another complaint, Amir Hussain, Farid’s brother, said that the 12-year-old boy was walking to the local post office to collect his Aadhaar card when a bullet fired by a policeman hit him, leading to his death.

Saddam Hussain, a lawyer, and political activist said to the news website that he himself was terrified about stepping inside the police station to file the complaints along with the families of the victims on Wednesday.

“There were several reasons for the delay in filing the complaint. But most importantly, it was fear,” said Hussain.

General FIR

In a general first information report filed by Olindita Gogoi, an additional superintendent of Assam Police, on September 24, the Assam Police had stated that Haque and Farid were shot at after a large crowd protesting the eviction became violent and attacked police officials.

They also stated that Haque was first taken to a local dispensary in Moluwa Ghat by some health workers, and later to Sipajhar Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. The police, in its FIR, had said that they had learned later about Farid’s death, according to India Ahead.