Police resorted to lathicharge and fired in the air here today to disperse anti-dam protesters who blocked NH-52 on the border of Lakhimpur-Dhemaji districts in Assam and pelted stones at security force and public vehicles.
No injuries were reported, official sources said. The administration of the twin districts earlier appealed to the protesters to withdraw their 10-day long agitation to allow movement of vehicles between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh through National Highway-52, the sources said.
When they did not heed to the appeal, the security forces attempted to physically remove the agitators protesting against the construction of the 2000-MW Lower Subansiri hydro-electric project near Lakhimpur on the border of Assam and Arunachal, they said.
The demonstrators then pelted stones at the vehicles belonging to the CRPF, police and public, besides oil tankers damaging several of them. In a bid to control the situation, police resorted to lathicharge and fired in the air to disperse the mob, the sources said.
The police also dispersed the protesters at Pohumara, Boginadi and Gogamukh in both the districts and arrested over 200 picketers along with their leaders. The arrested leaders include those spearheading the agitation — Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti’s president Raju Bora, its vice president Bedanta Gogoi, Asom Jatiyabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) Lakhimpur unit secretary Saurav Das and Takam Mising Porin Kebang (TMPK) publicity secretary Dilip Pegu.
Stating that the picketers would be released, Lakhimpur Deputy Commissioner Anwaruddin Choudhury said legal action would be taken against the leaders.