Fresh violence calims more life, toll 30 in Assam

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Guwahati, Oct 5 (UNI) With eight more death today, the unabated violence between two groups in Assam claimed 30 lives so far as fighting flare up in Kamrup district, official sources said.

The clashes between Boro tribemen and immigrant Muslims in north Assam districts of Udalguri, Darrang, Sonitpur and Kamrup, a new area, for third day today claimed at least 30 people, wounding more than 200 and displaced about two lakh, official sources said.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the situation had turned serious and blamed the administration for not being able to contain violence as reports of pitched battle between the two groups received for third day today.

Besdies, incidents of police firings, arsons and torching of houses of rival groups also reported.

Police said people from more than 220 villages had fled to escape violence despite stepped up patrolling of police and army.

" We are trying to bring the situation under control. We are meeting the leaders of various communities" said state Home Commisisoner Rajib Bora, who was camping at Mangaldoi.

Official sources said there were police firings at Dimakuchi, Tuizahr, Dhulla, Rowta and Batamari. Altogether 11 people were killed and more than 30 injured in the police firing.

Mr Gogoi said if the Bodo militants did not stop violence then the existing ceasefire agreement with the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) would be withdrawn.

The authorities were trying to contain violence with deployment of ten companies of troops and 20 companies of para-military forces in violence prone districts of Assam.

Five towns between Mangldoi and Dhekiajuli were brought under shoot at sight areas after reports of arson and violence.

So far about 65 relief camps have been set up to shelter displaced people.

Senior police official Abu Sufian, who had rushed to the spot after the Udalguri Superintendent of Police Bijay Kuligam was suspended for failing to stop violence, informed that violence had broken out at Bahakatpara area of Udalguri district affecting some 20,000 people there. Sources said the clashes and police firing claimed two lives there at Bhakatpur area. Violence also reported from Hugrijuli, Chapabari and Singribari near Dhekiajuli of Sonitpur district.

About 20,000 villagers were shifted to safer places with majority of them taking shelter at Mudoibari refugee camp. The violence had taken place at Tizahar area of Bhakatpara region where two died in police firing.

" We have asked the security forces to take all possible step to stop the violence and help restore calm in the area," Mr Gogoi said.

State Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma was also camping in the area and claimed that situation was well under control.

The immediate provocation for the clashes was the attack on a group of Village Defence Party (VDP) volunteers on Friday by some miscreants.

The violence took ugly turn when a convoy of three Bodo ministers - Chandan Brahma, Rihon Daimary and Prameela Rani Brahma- came under attack. "The VDP members belonged to the tribal Bodo community and were attacked by members of a religious minority group and that sparked off the clashes," the official said.

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