After police firing in Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh, marred an anti-dam protest on Ambedkar Jayanti last week, activists have now accused the police of further brutality on the morning of April 18 as it attempted to clear protestors, mostly tribals, from the dam site. The police allegedly attacked protestors with rubber bullets, tear gas and lathis. They chased protestors back to their villages, where they also vandalised their homes. On Monday, a fact-finding team from the Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan released a report stating that the district police and around 500 to 1,000 Provincial Armed Constabulary surrounded the site of the protest and “beat and chased the villagers right up to their villages”.
It is not yet clear how many people were injured in this round of attacks, but at least 14 people from four villages have been admitted to a block hospital in nearby Duddhi. Many women were beaten on their thighs and buttocks. The April 14 attack left 39 people injured, of whom 12 had serious injuries. As Scroll reported last week, one person is still near death in a Varanasi hospital. The police allegedly also seized tents and generators at the site of the protest and burned posters and banners.