Indian photographer in video tramples a man shot dead by Assam police | Police News

Muslims protesting the government’s forced displacement shot at police, killing at least two and injuring many.

Video of a photographer stomping on and attacking the body of a man shot dead by police in northeastern Assam state has gone viral in India, sparking outcry and protests.

In the video, which has not been independently verified by Al Jazeera, a man is seen running with a stick towards a group of police in riot gear, holding guns, in the village of Sipajhar in Darrang district (Assam) on Thursday.

The photographer, identified as Bijoy Bania, is also seen with the police, who immediately opened fire on the charging man.

As soon as he fell to the ground after being shot, nearly a dozen police continued to attack him with batons.

As the injured man, identified by police as Moinul Haque, is lying on the ground – a red stain on his vest marking the area where he was shot – Bania approaches the body and begins to step on it.

The photographer, with his face covered and a camera slung over his shoulder, also punched and kicked the body before being taken away by the police.

A few seconds later, Bania returns to repeat her attack. This time, Haque’s body appears to be lifeless.

Towards the end of the 72-second video, Bania is seen being hugged by a person in civilian clothes present at the scene.

According to Indian media, Bania was arrested Thursday evening and a judicial inquiry into the incident, in which at least one other person died, has been ordered by the state government.

Darrang Police Superintendent Susanta Biswa Sarma, who is reported to be the brother of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, told The Indian Express that the police “did what they did.” she had to do “in” self-defense.

The violence in Sipajhar took place during a demonstration by Muslims of Bengali origin against a so-called “expulsion campaign” ordered by the Assam government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The BJP has been accused of exploiting Assam’s ethnic and religious fault lines for electoral purposes and waging a hate campaign against Muslims, who make up one-third of the state’s population.

On Monday, nearly 800 families were forcibly displaced from their lands and barracks destroyed by government officials in Sipajhar, despite monsoon rains in the region.

Residents, however, told Indian media that they bought the land years ago and approached the local court against the displacement campaign. The court is still hearing the case.

Meanwhile, protests were sparked in Assam, the nation’s capital New Delhi and other locations over Thursday’s violence.

“Assam is on state-sponsored fire,” tweeted opposition leader Rahul Gandhi.

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