Assam: Govt struggles to control riots; Rajdhani attacked

Written by: Pti
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Train attacked
Guwahati, Jul 24: Fresh violence on Tuesday rocked the trouble-torn Bodoland Territorial Administered Districts in Assam where the Rajdhani Express was attacked by some persons even as the entire train services to and from the Northeast were hit.

Unidentified persons pelted stones and attacked the coaches of the Guwahati-bound Rajdhani Express at Gossaigaon in Kokrajhar district damaging four coaches, though there was no casualty or injuries, North East Frontier Railway sources said here.

The train has been turned back and halted at Kamakhyaguri station bordering West Bengal, but the authorities were considering to take it to Cooch Behar.

Sporadic incidents of violence and arson were reported from different parts of Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts while the situation remains tense in neighbouring Bongaigaon and Udalguri districts.

Indefinite curfew continues in Kokrajhar while night curfew will continue in Dhubri and Chirang districts in the ethnic violence in BTAD districts which has claimed 21 districts, the police said.

More than 50,000 people have taken shelter in 75 relief camps set up by the district authorities, most of them in worst-affected Kokrajhar district.

Assam Director-General of Police Jayanta Narayan Choudhury is scheduled to visit the violence-racked districts today to take stock of the situation.

Assam revenue minister Prithbi Majhi and agriculture minister Nilamoni Sen Deka have rushed to the district on the direction of chief minister Tarun Gogoi while forest minister Rockybul Hussain, food and civil supplies minister Nazrul Islam and tourism minister Chandan Brahma were already camping there.

A delegation of BJP and Congress has also arrived in the trouble-torn districts to assess the situation. Train services have been hit due to the violence with 31 trains halted and controlled at various places.

Railway authorities have urged the state government to provide adequate security to ensure safe movement of trains.

Meanwhile, Bodoland Territorial Council chief Hagrama Mohilary on Tuesday claimed that a section of the people have alleged that NDFB could have some role in the violence.

However, sources said the NDFB is now under a ceasefire agreement and the talks process has been initiated with it.

"I urge the NDFB to calm down and refrain from such activities while the government should take the initiative to bring those cadres who are still in the jungle to the mainstream and involve them in the peace process," Mohilary said.

He also alleged that there were inadequate security forces in the BTAD which was creating difficulties in maintaining law and order in the state.

"Our top priority is to stop violence in the districts and we urge the state government not to pull back Army deployment at this stage," Mohilary said.

PM asks Assam CM to bring law and order under control

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday took stock of the situation in Assam where ethnic clashes have taken place and directed Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi to do everything possible to control violence.

"The Prime Minister spoke to the chief minister (over phone) and took stock of the situation. The Prime Minister has directed him to do everything possible to control the situation and for relief and rehabilitation of the affected," a spokesperson in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.

Gogoi informed the Prime Minister about the steps taken by the government in the localities where clashes between Bodo tribals and minority immigrants took place.


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