Nine killed in communal clashes in Assam's Kokrajhar
Guwahati, July 21 (IANS) Nine people were killed in communal clashes in Assam's Kokrajhar district since Thursday, the state government said Saturday, adding a dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed and additional paramilitary forces have been sought for the area.
The reports of spreading sporadic violence have been pouring in from different parts of the Lower Assam district.
"We have deployed forces in the district and asked for additional paramilitary forces to be deployed so that the tension cannot escalate. I have also asked the district administration to deal with the situation strictly," Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told media persons here.
The district administration has imposed curfew in the whole district from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
According to the district administration sources, the violence started after unidentified gunmen attacked two student leaders - Mohibul Islam and Abdul Siddique Sheikh - at Magurbari Thursday night. Islam is the president of All Bodoland Minority Students' Union (ABMSU), and Sheikh is the former president of Bilasipara unit of the All Assam Minority Students' Union (AAMSU).
Following the incident, four reformed militants were shot dead by unidentified gunmen at Joypur area under Kokrajhar police station Friday night, Kokrajhar Deputy Commissioner Donald Gilsellon told IANS.
"In a retaliatory attack, a 60-year-old man was killed by unidentified assailants at Duramari area in the district early Saturday morning. Another four people were seriously injured in the incident," he said.
A 14-year-old boy was also killed at Narabari area Saturday, while three more people were killed in a retaliatory attack in Paraura village, said Gilsellon.
Assam Transport Minister Chandan Brahma has announced Rs.3 lakh to the next of kin of each killed person and Rs.50,000 to those injured in the violence.
Meanwhile, several citizens' forum and pressure groups have appealed to people to desist from violence and maintain the age-old communal harmony between the Bodos and non-Bodo communities in the district.
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