BOKAJAN: The eviction drive in Lahorijan that remained peaceful in the first and the second phase turned violent on Sunday as protesters clashed with security forces after they were baton-charged by the police for resisting the administration from initiating the demolition process on Sunday.

Earlier, the Land and Revenue Department of KAAC had carried out two eviction drives in the Dulu colony area of Lahorijan and had cleared over 200 bighas of land illegally occupied by encroachers in neighbouring Dimapur city in Nagaland.

Today’s drive was aimed at clearing a settlement of over 100 households covering an area of approximately 120 Bigha revenue land in the Balijan Khan Basti area of Lahorijan Block 3 under Borjan Mouza in Bokajan Sub-Division.

The Land and Revenue department had identified a total of 134 locations in the area for carrying out the eviction drive.

However, 34 individuals have obtained legal protection from Guwahati High Court and escaped the administration’s bulldozers on Sunday.

Tension unfolded in the area on Sunday morning after the demolition of a Masjid and residents mostly women and children assembled to organize a demonstration by holding placards and the Gauhati High Court’s order preventing the demolition squad from entering the area.

Officials of the district administration tried to persuade the agitating protesters but they remained adamant and later, after a series of failed negotiations, the security forces had resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the crowd. 

The action of the security forces, however, provoked the protesters and as the clash intensified, a few protesters started hurling stones at the security personnel by positioning themselves across the border in Nagaland.

The Khan Basti area is in close proximity with Nagaland and is just a narrow stream apart. 

The police also retaliated with tear gas shells and rubber bullets to bring the situation under control. The officer in charge of Khatkhati police station, SI Raju Duwarah sustained an injury during the brawl.

Several other protesters were also reportedly injured in the clash.

Later, a team of Dimapur District Administration arrived to disperse the crowd assembled on their side of the border and brought the situation under control.

However, the situation in the area continues to remain tense and may flare up at the slightest trigger.

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