GUWAHATI: Tension gripped Jogighopa in Goalpara district on Sunday when police wielded batons on Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS) activists, opposing arrival of barges carrying turbines for the Lower Subansiri mega dam project.
Akhil Gogoi, who was among the protesters, got arrested on his way back from Jogighopa. Police, however, said he was not arrested but detained for inquiring into the papers of the vehicle in which he was travelling.
On Saturday, the Assam-Bengal Courier Pvt. Ltd. (India)’s city-based office assured Akhil of taking back the barges to Dhubri from where it started its journey on Friday evening. However, the vessels continued to head towards Jogighopa port on Sunday.
“The state government has been adamant in not listening to expert groups and the pleas of people. Now, it is trying to suppress the movement with muscle power. We condemned police action on protesters,” said Akhil.
Security forces said they had to resort to lathicharge and tear-gas shell firing after the agitators allegedly started pelting stones at them. In the meantime, Aasu protesters, led by its president Shankar Prasad Roy and other members of the various ethnic groups opposing construction of the Lower Subansiri mega dam, joined KMSS activists.
The turbines were later unloaded at Jogighopa port under heavy cover after the situation was brought under control.
“They have started unloading the turbines. Police have put up barricades to stop us. But if they need to take the machines from here, they will have to use the national highway which we will block at any cost. Our members are keeping an eye on every movement on the bank,” said Shankar Prasad Roy.