Millennium Post

Assam burns in ethnic clashes, toll reaches 19

Assam burns in ethnic clashes, toll reaches 19
The communal violence in the Bodoland area of Assam continued unabated on Monday. Fresh clashes took place in the day in the Bodoland Territorial Administered Districts (BTAD) and two more bodies were discovered, taking the toll to 19. The bodies were recovered from the banks of Gouranga river this morning, the police said.

The police issued shoot-at-sight orders in the Kokrajhar district and also clamped indefinite curfew.

The protesters stopped the New Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express at Pratapkhat between Kokrajhar and Gossaigaon, alleging that their houses were damaged by miscreants when they moved to relief camps, IGP (BTAD) S N Singh said. The train subsequently resumed its journey.

'There are fresh reports of houses being set ablaze in several places in Kokrajhar district. Reinforcements have been rushed to the areas and the situation is gradually coming back to normal,' he said.

An abandoned hostel of Bodo students was set ablaze at Bidyapara in Dhubri district with the fire brigade initially being prevented access before police intervened. The police fired in the air when the supporters of strike tried to forcibly close down shops in Golokgunj and Gauripur towns of Dhubri during a 12-hour bandh called by the All Assam Minority Students' Union.

The Assam forest minister Rockybul Hussain and the food and civil supplies minister Nazrul Islam reached Kokrajhar and appealed to people to maintain peace and calm and not heed rumours.

The centre has rushed nearly 1,400 paramilitary personnel to Assam to assist local administration in bringing back peace in violence-hit BTAD. The forces have been sent in addition to 9,000 paramilitary personnel already deployed in the Northeastern state to maintain law and order there, official sources said.

Concerned over the violence, the home minister P Chidambaram called up Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who briefed him about the latest developments and the steps taken by the state government to bring back normalcy in the troubled areas.
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