Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has come under fire after a recent claim made by AIUDF MLA Ashraful Hussain in the assembly that 66 accused were killed and 158 others injured in police custody since Sarma became the chief minister of the state in May 2021.
During the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the governor's address, AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam raised concerns over the inefficiency of the police force, stating that every time an accused flees, they are shot dead.
Opposition parties and social groups have accused the government of carrying out fake encounters. The cases of Kenaram Basumatary and Kirti Kamal Bora were cited as examples. The CID probe into the death of a person suspected to be a dacoit in a police encounter in Assam's Udalguri district in February affirmed that it was a case of "mistaken identity". The probe concluded that the deceased was not dacoit Kenaram Boro alias Kenaram Basumatary but a person identified as Dimbeswar Muchahary, who his family asserted was a "small-time farmer" but police claimed he was a "hardened criminal".
Student leader Kirti Kamal Bora, who was alleged to have been involved in drug peddling, was injured in police firing on January 22 last year. A one-man commission of Paban Kumar Borthakur, the then additional chief secretary, found that police officials involved in the firing were at fault and that Bora was not carrying any drugs at the time of the incident.
The accusations have raised concerns over police brutality and a lack of accountability, with many calling for an investigation into the incidents. As of yet, there has been no official response from the Assam government on the matter.
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