Assam violence claims 40 lives; no Bangladeshi hand, says Centre

Source: Hindustan Times.

Clashes between minority immigrants and Bodo tribals continued unabated as the toll in the ethnic violence shot up to 40 today with the recovery of eight more bodies even as the Centre asked the Assam government to nab the “ring leaders” involved in unrest. Five more bodies were recovered from Bijni in Chirang district and three from worst-hit Kokrajhar where shoot-at-sight orders and indefinite curfew were in force, police said. Two fresh incidents of arson have been reported from Chirang and Kokrajhar districts, but no casualty have been reported. Thirteen columns of the Army were deployed in Kokrajhar, Chirang, Dhubri and Bongaigaon where they staged flag marches accompanied by a magistrate.

Defence spokesman Colonel S Phogat said the army units had identified a number of sensitive and hyper-sensitive areas in the four districts to enable them to better patrol them.

In Delhi, Union Home Secretary RK Singh said 2,000 central security personnel have been deputed to guard Guwahati-bound trains and railway tracks which were disrupted.

“We have asked the state government to book ring leaders of both sides so that violence can be checked immediately. No one involved in the violence will be spared,” he said.

Ruling out the possibility of involvement of anyone from across the border, he said, “The international border is sealed. It is simply impossible for any organised group crossing over to India from across the border to carry out the attacks.”

Nearly two lakh people were rendered homeless in the violence and about 125 relief camps set up.

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