Violence continues in Assam, death toll rises to six

Guwahati, Nov 15 (IANS) Indefinite curfew was imposed in Assam's troubled Kokrajhar district Thursday after suspected militants shot dead a man and stabbed another.

The stray incidents of violence, continuing in Kokrajhar and Baksa districts of the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD), had claimed six lives and left six injured since last week, officials said.

The army, which was called in Wednesday night to handle the situation, carried out a flag march in all sensitive areas of Kokrajhar Thursday.

While the first incident took place during curfew, when suspected militants stabbed one Abul Kalam, the second incident took place in Telipara where suspected militants shot dead one Nirisan Basumatary.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi asked Director General of Police Jayanta Narayan Choudhury to proceed to BTAD to take stock of the situation and restore normalcy, said a statement by the chief minister's office.

Choudhury was also told to take strong punitive action against those perpetrating the violence.

Gogoi also asked Minister for Industries and Power Pradyut Bordoloi to proceed to BTAD.

"We are concerned about the situation in BTAD. There are some people who do not want peace to return to the BTAD. There are also lots of forces instigating the violence in BTAD," Gogoi told reporters, adding that six people had been killed in BTAD since last week.

Gogoi also indicated the role of anti−talk faction of the Bodo militant outfit National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) behind the violence.

Besides violence in BTAD, suspected NDFB militants had also killed a tea planter in Sonitpur district on Tuesday.

"The group of ministers constituted for relief and rehabilitation would also visit in BTAD soon," Gogoi said.

He said he had discussed the situation with General officer Commanding, 4 Corps, Gen. C.A. Krishnan.

The officer is likely to visit BTAD Friday.

"The district administration has imposed indefinite curfew in view of the continued violence," said Inspector General of Police (BTAD) G.P. Singh.

He said the army had conducted a flag march in all the sensitive areas of the district.

Singh said the condition of the man injured during an attack at a weekly market in Kokrajhar Thursday was serious.

Kokrajhar and Chirang districts, which form Assam's BTAD along with Udalguri and Baksa, had witnessed one of the worst communal clashes earlier this year which led to the death of over 100 people and displacement of over four lakh people from their homes.

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