Violence in lower Assam’s Kokrajhar spread to neighbouring Chirang district on Sunday where five persons were killed, even as the toll in the group clashes shot up to 17 in the two districts. The Army has been called in to assist the security forces.
A statement issued by the Assam government on Sunday evening said that the 17 people have been killed so far and nine others injured due to the incidents of violence between two communities in the two districts under the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD).
The statement further informed that there were seven incidents of violence took place in both the districts. More than 26,000 people have taken shelter in 36 relief camps in Kokrajhar district, it said.
According to the police, unidentified miscreants hacked to death three persons in Hasrao Bazar of Chirang district on Sunday evening.
In another incident in the same district, two persons were shot dead by a gang at Mongolian Bazaar in Bijni town, they said.
A vehicle was also set ablaze earlier in the district.
Meanwhile, in trouble-torn Kokrajhar district, a DIG-ranked police official and three others were injured in a mob attack, while the death toll in the district rose to 12 with the recovery of three more bodies.
Bodoland Territorial Administered Districts IGP SN Singh said that DIG S Kumar and Kokrajhar Additional Superintendent of Police Amar Choudhury were on their way to assess the prevailing situation in Fakiragram area this afternoon when their convoy was blocked by a mob demanding the release of 10 people held in connection with the killing of four former Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) cadre.
The police officials urged them to clear the way but the mob stoned the officials and other policemen accompanying them. Kumar was hit on the head and two of his personal security officers were also injured in the attack.
The police baton charged and fired in the air to disperse the crowd in which another person was injured, while vehicles of both officers were damaged, Singh said.
“Army has been pressed into service and they are assisting the police and paramilitary forces throughout the Kokrajhar district,” he said.
Six companies and two platoons of central paramilitary forces had been deployed along with police battalions, he added.
The Assam government had also sent seven civil officials and 15 police officials from other districts to the Kokrajhar and Chirang districts to assist the administration in maintaining law and order situation.
The violence was triggered with the firing on two student leaders who were critically injured – Mohibul Islam of All Bodoland Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU) and Abdul Siddique Sheikh of All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) 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.