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Assam: Violence toll mounts to 51

K Anurag in Guwahati | October 07, 2008 17:46 IST

Additional security forces were rushed to the two communal violence-hit districts of Assam on Tuesday even as the death toll mounted to 51 with recovery of more bodies from affected areas as well as death of some injured in hospital.

An official source informed that though there was no report of fresh violence from any part of the two affected districts, the situation remained very tense. Ten additional companies of Border Security Force personnel had been deployed in the two districts where 16 columns of the army along with a large number of police and paramilitary force personnel were already operating.

The number of riot-hit people in refugee camps has increased to over 1.55 lakh. There were over 88,000 affected people in 46 refugee camps in Udalguri district and over 67,000 in 38 refugee camps in Darrang districts. The exodus of panic-stricken people from different areas in violence-hit districts came down on Tuesday. The curfew was relaxed for some hours in certain places including Dalgaon, Tongla, and Kharupetia due to marginal improvement in situation.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said in a statement, "Though there has been no report of fresh violence since Monday, vigil has been augmented through deployment of additional forces. I have been in constant touch with the respective district administrations and security forces and have asked them not to be complacent and to deal those forces trying to engineer rift among the communities with an iron hand."

Gogoi said that several ministers and MLAs from the ruling coalition were camping in violence affected districts to restore the confidence among the people. He has requested Assam Assembly Speaker T B Rai to send an all-party delegation to violence-hit areas to help bring back normalcy.

Meanwhile, state government has denied reports the communal violence, which erupted in Darrang and Udalguri districts in North Assam on Thursday last, had spread to Baska and Chirang districts of the state.

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