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19 killed in Assam violence, mob stops Rajdhani Express

Last updated on: July 23, 2012 17:07 IST

19 killed in Assam violence, mob stops Rajdhani Express

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Two more bodies were recovered on Monday taking the toll to 19 in the violence in Assam's Bodoland Territorial Administered Districts, as the Rajdhani Express was stopped by protestors in Kokrajhar district, police said.

The bodies were recovered from the banks of river Gouranga on Monday morning, they said.

Police personnel fired in the air when the bandh supporters tried to forcibly close down shops in Golokgunj and Gauripur towns in Dhubri district during a 12-hour bandh, called by the All Assam Minority Students' Union to protest attacks on the minorities in BTAD districts, Superintendent of Police  Pradip Saloi said.

A source in Kokrajhar informed that there were reports of arson incidents taking place in many remote villages in both Kokrajhar and Chirang districts while the death toll has gone upto to 19 in this massive spell of violence that has sent the administration into a tizzy.

Bandh supporters also ransacked the office of Bodoland Peoples' Front in Gauripur town.

With inputs from K Anurag in Guwahati

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Image: An army bullet-proof vehicle patrols through a street during curfew near Kokorajhar town in Assam
Photographs: Reuters

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The AAMSU subsequently withdrew the bandh following an appeal by ministers.

The Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express was stopped at Pratapkhat between Kokrajhar and Gossaigaon by people from nearby villages who alleged that their houses were damaged by miscreants when they moved to relief camps.

Trains were controlled at different points as a result.

An additional nine companies of para-military forces were deployed in the district while the army was assisting in maintaining law and order.


Image: Security personnel patrol on a street during curfew near Kokorajhar town
Photographs: Reuters

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Assam Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Nazrul Islam reached Kokrajhar and appealed to people to maintain peace and calm and not heed rumours.

Assam Pradesh Congress Committee President Bhubaneswar Kalita urged the state government to take measures to curb the violence and directed party workers to form peace committees and take out peace rallies.


Image: Displaced tribal people take shelter in a relief camp near Kokorajhar town
Photographs: Reuters

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A five-member committee of the APCC left for Kokrajhar and Chirang districts to assess the situation and help in restoring peace.

The violence was triggered with the firing on two student leaders who were critically injured -- Mohibul Islam of the All Bodoland Minority Students' Union and Abdul Siddique Sheikh of the All Assam Minority Students' Union in Kokrajhar.

In a retaliatory attack, four former Bodo Liberation Tigers cadres were killed on Friday night in the district and this led to further attacks and counter-attacks resulting in the deaths.


Image: An injured local resident Prnima Das, 32, rests with her child in a hospital after violence near Kokorajhar town
Photographs: Reuters

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