Three people sustained serious gunshot wounds on Tuesday after police fired indiscriminately to disperse rioting squatters in Mtwapa, Kilifi county.
A four-year-old was shot on the ribs. The other two were hit on the neck and hand.
A four-acre parcel of land is at the center of the dispute.
Police said a court order apparently issued four years ago blocked the occupation of the disputed parcel.
The confrontation started at 6 am early Tuesday morning when police started demolishing houses where the families lived.
Police used live ammunition.
Shimo la Tewa Ward MCA Samuel Ndago was arrested and he was later in the afternoon released on Sh. 200,000 cash bail.
Land case active in court since 2011
The dispute had been reported to Muslims for Human Rights-MUHURI in 2011. The case was still active in court.
[MUHURI Rapid response Officer Francis Auma addressing journalist at Mtwapa. Photo/ Ahmed Omar].
MUHURI Rapid response Officer Francis Auma said acting would have mounted into sub-judice.
“Our assessment showed police used excessive force in quelling the protest, there was destruction of property worthy millions of shillings,” said Auma.
A dweller, Patrick Njenga had his Sh. 5 million house torched and reduced into rubles.
“This is inhumanity of the highest order, we have installed our businesses, constructed houses only to be beaten up and evicted from our homes,” he said.
The running battles later ended in the afternoon.
However tension remains high in the area.