Houses torched as communal tension brews in Assam

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Tezpur, Aug 20 (UNI) In fresh incidents of communal violence in northern Assam districts, houses were torched in two minority villages in Sonitpur district late last night.

Three huts of one Abu Kasem were burnt down at Ratanjuli village under Dhekiajuli police station at about 2230 hours, while another house of one Ramzan Ali was torched in Birakota village at about 0230 hours.

The two villages are separated by one-and-half km field.

Eye-witnesses claiming that a group of 12-14 people had set the houses on fire in both incidents before fleeing.

Sonitpur Superintendent of Police MP Gupta visited the villages this morning to pacify the villagers and check the security arrangements.

Several people of indigenous communities were also picked up from the area, six of whom were brought to Tezpur police station for further questioning while others were kept at the Dhekiajuli police station.

Some people were also picked up in Udalguri districts yesterday.

Communal clashes had broke out in Sonitpur, Udalguri and Darrang districts during an August 14 minority-sponsored bandh, when a Bodo youth was killed by bandh enforcers in Rowta.

A minority community person was killed in retaliatory violence on August 17 in a nearby area, with the clashes threatening to spread over to other parts.

The state government had deployed Army, along with other para-military forces, in the disturbed areas.


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