Assam silk weavers clash with police, seven injured

Guwahati, March 30 (IANS) At least seven people, including two policemen, were injured after a group of weavers and locals clashed with security forces at Sualkuchi in Assam over the sale of Banarasi silk in the name of Assam silk Saturday.

The Kamrup district administration, under which Sualkuchi falls, called in the army to assist the state police in containing the situation. An indefinite curfew has been imposed in the entire Sualkuchi area.

A group of weavers snatched Banarasi silk products from shops and houses of wholesalers Saturday and set them on fire. Police opened fire to control the situation.

“Security forces tried to contain the situation by firing tear gas shells. But when the situation starting going out of control, security forces opened fire. Five civilians were injured,” Kamrup Deputy Commissioner S.K. Roy told IANS.

“Two policemen, including a constable and a senior official, were also injured,” he said.

Three civilians who were shot have been admitted to a hospital.

Sualkuchi, a mini township about 30 km away from Assam’s capital Guwahati, is known for producing Assam silk (also called pat silk).

Local weavers had been complaining about the import of Banarasi silk to Sualkuchi by some traders and wholesalers, who were selling it as Assam silk. Banarasi silk is cheaper than Assam silk.

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