12 policemen among 13 injured in clashes over AIIMS location
At least 13 people including 12 policemen were injured on Friday in clashes between police and protesters who were demanding shifting of AIIMS in Assam from Changsari to here, about 130 km from Guwahati.
Raha (Assam): At least 13 people including 12 policemen were injured on Friday in clashes between police and protesters who were demanding shifting of AIIMS in Assam from Changsari to here, about 130 km from Guwahati.
As protesters pelted stones on security personnel injuring at least 12 policemen including two additional superintendents of police, the force resorted to tear-gassing, lathicharge and blank firing to disperse the agitating crowd, Nagaon superintendent of police Yshey Tshewang Gyatso told PTI.
Gyatso said at least 12 police personnel were injured in the stone throwing. "Our two Additional SPs -- Hiranya Kumar Barman and Abdel Quadir Arief were also injured. Thankfully all of us were wearing helmets and so there was no serious injury."
The protesters were demanding shifting of AIIMS in Assam to Raha in Nagaon district from Changsari in Kamrup.
Only one protester was injured in the incident when he fell down while running and people ran over him, Gyatso said, adding that the man was sent to a nearby hospital.
Protesters have, however, claimed that more than 50 of them were injured.
Trouble began in the morning when about 2,000 people under the aegis of a newly formed body blocked NH 37 at Raha to press their demand for setting up AIIMS there instead of at Changsari.
"The highway is the only link between lower and upper Assam and other NE states. So we requested them to at least clear the highway so that traffic could move. However, they did not listen and started throwing stones at us," Gyatso said.
The police were left with no option but to use force to evict them. They resorted to lathicharge, tear-gassing and fired in the air to disperse the crowd, he said.
The clash left thousands of vehicles stranded on the highway for hours.
Assam government had on June 28 handed over more than 571 acres of land at Changsari to the Centre to set up the 750-bedded super-speciality hospital at an expenditure of around Rs 1,000 crore. This triggered strong protests here and at other places and senior citizens of the area had gone on a hunger strike.