Veerappa Moily to assess situation in Assam

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Guwahati, Nov 29: Sporadic violence continued to rock Assam for the sixth day today, even as the Congress sent its state in-charge to assess the situation following Saturday's violence. Trouble erupted in Jorhat, Sivsagar and Golaghat districts of Upper Assam this morning as thousands of Adivasis from neighbouring tea estates protested in front of the Deputy Commisisoner's office.

Another two thousand Adivasis from the tea estates tried to approach Jorhat town, but were stopped by the police who fired teargas shells near Titabor, home town of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

The incident caused tension in the state forcing all shops and business establishment to close down. However, police were maintaining a strict vigil.

Meanwhile, the Congress today rushed in state in-charge Veerappa Moily to assess the situation following Saturday's violence between locals and Adivasis, claiming one life and injured two hundred.

Late last night, the Adivasis attacked a marriage party, burnt a bus and injured 12 people, including the bride and groom, near Kokrajhar in lower Assam when the bus was travelling from Siliguri.

There were reports of clashes from Chabua, Tengakhat, Kalain and Rangapara. All are from different corners of the state, indicating that retaliatory violence was spreading.

Security arrangements had been tightened but tension continued.

Curfew in the Ranagapara town had been continuing although the Adivasi mob had dispersed.

Though there was no bandh today, after four days of disruption, normality was yet to return in most of the district towns.

Meanwhile, Mr Moily held a series of meetings with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and other party functionaries. The state is heading for Panchayat poll, the notification for which was issued yesterday. Incidentally, the electoral fortune of the Congress is dependent on the vote bank of tea labourers who are the main chunk of Adivasi population in Assam.

The BJP is also sending a high level team tomorrow to take stock of the situation.

An all party meeting held at the AGP office demanded the resignation of the Tarun Gogoi ministry.

The state government, under pressure to act, transferred mid- level police officers of Guwahati city.

Meanwhile, responding to the state government's call, the All Assam Adivasi Students Association (AAASA) released a list of 32 missing persons today and gave a deadline of 48 hours to the government to declare them 'missing or dead'. While AAASA and hundreds of eye-witnesses of the Beltola violence had claimed that more than 20 people had died on Saturday, the government maintained that only one person was killed.

The Adivasi Chatra Sangha(ACS) of Jharkhand announced that they would not allow the Assam contingent to take part in the next Ranchi National Games to be held in February.

UNI

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