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Toll in anti-Bihari violence in Assam up to 30
G Vinayak in Guwahati |
November 20, 2003 22:01 IST
The toll in the anti-Bihari violence in Assam increased to 30, officials told rediff.com. The violence began on Monday after trains from northeast passing through Bihar were attacked.
Officials said the situation in the state was tense, but under control. Sporadic incidents of arson, looting and intimidation of Biharis across the state was still on, they said.
Responding to a SOS sent by the Assam government the Centre airlifted six companies of the Border Security Force from neighbouring Meghalaya and deployed them in the worst hit districts of Tinsukia and Dibrugarh in upper Assam.
Five more companies of the Central Reserve Police Force are on their way and would be deployed in sensitive areas.
Curfew continued to be in force in the Tinsukia town, the two industrial townships of Duliajan and Naharkatiya and the lower Assam town of Nalbari. An army column was deployed in Tinsukia.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spoke to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and his Bihar counterpart Rabri Devi besides Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Laloo Prasad Yadav and asked them to work in tandem to bring the situation back to normal.
Union Minister of State for Home Swami Chinmayanand is likely to arrive in Guwahati to take stock of the situation on Friday. Assam Governor Ajai Singh and his Bihar counterpart Rama Jois also issued a joint appeal asking the people to maintain calm.
Meanwhile the banned United Liberation Front of Assam, which is suspected to have killed at least 10 people has denied its involvement.
In an interview to a local daily, ULFA chief Paresh Baruah flatly denied his outfit's involvement in killing Biharis but also warned at the same time that no one should protect the interests of the Biharis in Assam.
He reiterated the outfit's stand that all Biharis must leave Assam immediately.