Assam's adivasi riots draw national tribal leaders

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Guwahati, Nov 25 (UNI) Yesterday's clashes between adivasis and locals today found the centrestage in Assam politics with national tribal leaders like Sibu Soren, Arjun Munda and Babulal Marandi making a beeline to the state.

Criticisism against yesterday's incident also echoed in Jharkhand capital Ranchi, with several groups taking out processions, demanding security for tribal population in Assam.

Local people had clashed with adivasi protestors yesterday, after the latter allegedly went on a rampage while their rally was proceeding towards Dispur. The protestors, under the banner of All Adivasi Students' Association (AASA), had been demanding Scheduled Tribe status. One person has been confirmed to have died in the incident, while 250 had been injured. A curfew has been clamped in the area.

Though curfew was relaxed this morning and ground situation was returning to normal, the tribal leaders wanted to make sure their sympathies for the aggreived triblas were heard. Most of the adivasis, who were engaged as tea garden workers, originally hailed from Jharkhand and adjoining belts and had come to Assam during the British regime.

BJP's Arjun Munda, former Jharkand Chief Minister, was the first to arrive today. He visited the injured at Guwahati Medical College and Hospital and also met Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma there and urged the latter to ensure proper medical facilities to the injured.

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