Demands of shifting AIIMS in Assam cause clashes between police and protesters

Clashes between police and protesters resulted in at least 13 people including 12 policemen being injured on Friday who were demanding shifting of AIIMS in Assam from Changsari in Kamrup to Raha in Nagaon district , about 130 km from Guwahati.

At least 12 policeman including two additional superintendents of police were injured as protestors pelted stones on security personnel resulting in the force to tear-gassing lathicharge and blank firing to disperse the agitating crowd, said Nagaon superintendent of police Yshey Tshewang Gyatso.

“Our two Additional SPs – Hiranya Kumar Barman and Abdel Quadir Arief were also injured. Thankfully all of us were wearing helmets and so there was no serious injury.” At least 12 police personnel were injured in the stone throwing said Gyatso

Only one protester was injured in the incident when he fell down while running and people ran over him, Gyatso said, adding that the man was sent to a nearby hospital.

Protesters have, however, claimed that more than 50 of them were injured.

Trouble began in the morning when about 2,000 people under the aegis of a newly formed body blocked NH 37 at Raha to press their demand for setting up AIIMS in Raha instead of at Changsari.

“The highway is the only link between lower and upper Assam and other NE states. So we requested them to at least clear the highway so that traffic could move. However, they did not listen and started throwing stones at us,” Gyatso said.

The clash left thousands of vehicles stranded on the highway for hours.

Assam government on June 28 had handed over more than 571 acres of land at Changsari to the Centre to set up the 750-bedded super-speciality hospital at an expenditure of around Rs 1,000 crore. This triggered strong protests here and at other places and senior citizens of the area had gone on a hunger strike.

 (Agencies)

 

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