GUWAHATI, April 28 - Police used excessive and unreasonable force and mercilessly beat up persons with disabilities (PwDs), who could hardly move normally without any support, during a protest demonstration in the city last year. This has been stated by the Pratibandhi Suraksha Sanstha (PSS) in reply to a notice it had received from the State Police Accountability Commission of Assam.
The State Police Accountability Commission of Assam had recently lodged a suo moto case to probe the incident of alleged police atrocity on some PwDs during a protest at Dispur Last Gate on October 5 last year. In this connection, the Commission had served notices to office-bearers of the PSS that had organised the protest, and the police officials present on the spot on that day.
On October 5 last, the Pratibandhi Suraksha Sanstha, in association with the Blind Council of Assam and the All Assam Blind Students’ Union’ staged a sit-in demonstration at Last Gate demanding publication of advertisements for a special recruitment drive for differently-abled persons of Assam as assured by the State government earlier on.
Nripen Malakar, secretary of the PSS, who had led the protest on that fateful day, in a written statement filed before the Commission, stated that police used water cannons on the protesters without any provocation. After that the police started indiscriminate lathicharge on the peaceful protesters who were sitting peacefully, Malakar said in the statement.
The police personnel were so aggressive and rude that without considering the physical disability and helplessness of the protesters, they used excessive and unreasonable force and mercilessly beat up the innocent disabled persons who could hardly move normally without any support, Malakar said in the statement.
Malakar, who is a practising advocate of the Gauhati High Court, in his statement also alleged that when he tried to talk with the higher police officials about the situation and requested them to stop the assault on the protesters who were peacefully sitting at the demonstration venue, the police pushed him by his face with a baton.
“Sub-inspector of Dispur Police Station Nipu Kalita along with other police personnel used very slang and abusive language and very aggressively and brutally attacked the protesters under the direction of ADCP Amitabh Basumatary. Due to such assault, Ranjit Bahadur Chetry (100 per cent blind), Amrit Saharia, Prasanta Sarma, Nipul Kalita (blind in one eye), Arup Bhunia (100 per cent blind), Kulo Boruah, Himangshu Nath (visually disabled), Arun Bhuyan (100 per cent blind) and many others sustained grievous injury,” Malakar stated in the statement submitted to the Commission.