Assam: Victims' kin bury bodies after minister appeals

Guwahati, May 5: After initial refusal, family of 18 people killed by Bodo militants on Sunday buried their dead after the Assam government assured to punish the culprits and provide security to the people living in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).

Assam Cooperation and Border Areas Development Minister Siddique Ahmed visited the affected areas in BTAD and met family members of the victims, all of whom belong to minority community.

Ahmed said the government was determined to punish the guilty and would take all steps to protect the lives of the minority community in the state.

The toll touched 34 and CM Tarun Gogoi has assured the riot-affected of justice

The minister then appealed to the people to perform the 'janaza' (last rites) of the dead.

Accepting his request, the last rites of the 18 persons took place in the afternoon in Baksa district in the presence of the minister.

Earlier in the day, people of Salbari in violence-hit Baksa district had refused to bury their kin killed in attacks demanding visit of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

Angry protesters had said they would not perform the last rites of 18 people, including children and women, till Gogoi comes and personally assures them security to their lives and property.

"Does our life have no value? We are only demanding that we are protected and we are not attacked and killed in future. The district administration, instead of providing people security and protection, is now threatening to arrest us if we do not perform janaza of our dead," they had alleged.

The government has announced to pay Rs six lakh each to the next of kin of the victims.

A relief camp has been established by Baksa district administration and 498 persons from violent affected areas under Gobardhana police station have taken shelter there.


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