The Gauhati High Court on Thursday directed the State of Assam to file a detailed affidavit on the recent evictions carried out at Darrang District which resulted in violent clashes including a gruesome video which went viral on social media which showed a photographer stomping violently on the body of a man..A Division Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Soumitra Sakia termed the clashes "a sorry state of affairs" and a "big tragedy"."This is a big tragedy, very unfortunate. Those who are guilty, if at all must be punished, no doubt about that. Not just in this but in one or two other incidents as well," the Bench remarked."Khoon zameen pe ghir gaya (blood has been spilled)," the Chief Justice commented. The Bench also asked if the State believes that the National Rehabilitation Policy is not applicable in Assam and directed it to file a detailed affidavit in the matter within three weeks. .The Court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Leader of the Opposition in Assam assembly, Debabrata Saikia and a suo motu petition taken up the Court in the matter.The matters came up before the Court after at least two persons were killed in police firing and twenty injured in clashes between security forces and occupants during an eviction drive in villages at Sipajhar in Darrang district on September 23.The two deceased persons were later identified to be a 12-year-old boy who was shot on his way back from a local post office and a 33-year-old man.The 33-year-old, the video of whose death went viral on social media, was identified as Moinul Haque, the sole earning member of his family and his killing is contended to be an extra judicial/encounter killing..Subsequently, Congress leader Saika, filed a PIL on the matter through Advocates Bilal Ikram, Talha Abdul Rahman, Natasha Maheshwari According to the petitioner, the occupants at Sipajhar, who are from marginalised and socio economically disadvantaged sections, were forced to migrate due to repeated floods and erosion around the Brahmaputra river from as early as 1960.The plea claimed that the State attempted to justify the evictions referring to a cabinet decision that purportedly gave effect to the State's proposal of clearing approximately 77,000 bighas in Sipajhar for setting up an Agro farm. News reports and tweets from the Chief Minister on this cabinet decision were submitted before the Court.This decision was challenged by the petitioner on the grounds that it is arbitrary, violative of Articles 14 and 21, violative of Parts IX and IX-A of the Constitution which requires democratisation of economic and social planning, in contravention of the Panchayat Act, 1994..Specifically regarding the eviction on September 23, which led to the two deaths, the petitioner contended that the same was a result of the use of "excessive illegal and disproportionate force and firearms by police officials, allegedly in response to the protests against the eviction drive" It was also argued that the police actively aided and abetted the actions of a photographer who was seen violently desecrating Hoque's lifeless body..Senior Advocate Chander Udey Singh argued that the videos of the death of Hoque made it evident that he had already been subdued by several policemen but he was still shot at when he was on the ground.He contended that the State is liable to pay compensation for the "ex facie illegal actions of the police" and requested the Court to direct the CID to conduct an independent investigation into the matter as well..Advocate General Debojit Saikia claimed that peaceful evictions were going on when there was an "unprovoked attack on the police" . He alleged that according to reports he has received, Hoque had been chasing the photographer with a lathi and "this young boy, the photographer, managed to save himself by getting to the police"Moreover, he claimed that several police personnel were attacked and injured and are currently recovering in hospital.He also submitted that peaceful evictions have been completed in three villages and that foundations are being laid for the project as well."On the 23rd, some external forces, people from various districts gathered there, with some political intentions. Something fishy is going on here," he alleged.He argued that the PIL petitioner, being the opposition leader in the State Assembly has different agendas and said, "let them fight political fight in the political forums, not in this court". Regarding the evictions, he said that the persons who were evicted were not legal occupants and are landless migrants as proven by their lack of legal documents showing rights to the land. "What wrong has the government done in evicting illegal migrants," he asked?.The matter will be taken up again on November 3, 2021.