CBI nabs main accused in Assam riots

Guwahati, Jan 8 (IANS) A special CBI team Tuesday arrested the main culprit behind last year's communal riots in Assam's Bodo areas, which left over 100 people dead and led to displacement of close to five lakh people, police said.

Kokrajhar Superintendent of Police Sunil Kumar said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team nabbed Moinul Haque from Kokrajhar district for his involvement in killing four Bodo youth July 19 last year, setting off the clash between the Bodos and the Bengali-speaking Muslim settlers.

Haque is an office bearer of the All Bodoland Muslim Students' Union (ABMSU) - a prominent students' body in four districts of Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang and Udalguri that form the Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts (BTAD) of Assam.

The Assam government had handed over the investigation of the violence in BTAD to the CBI last year and a special team had been carrying out investigations from Bongaigaon.

The CBI officials here also confirmed the arrest of Haque, but remained tight-lipped about the details and said that the arrest was made by a special team, which came from Delhi to investigate the case.

Besides Haque, CBI sleuths had also arrested another eight people last Friday for their suspected role in the violence.

After the violence last year, six people were arrested by the investigating team for their alleged involvement in the violence.

The violence, which was first started in Kokrajhar district of BTAD later spread to neighbouring Chirang and Dhubri districts forcing the government to deploy the army and paramilitary forces to contain the situation.

While close to five lakh people were displaced due to the violence in three districts and many of them were rehabilitated, a few thousand are still living in relief camps and are yet to be rehabilitated.

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