25 injured as tribal picketers torch bus in Assam

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Guwahati, Oct 27 (UNI) At least 25 people were injured, seven of them critically, when a crowded bus was set on fire by tribal picketers near Golokgunj in Assam's Dhubri district in the wee hours today.

The incident occurred at about 0200 hours on National Highway 31 when supporters of All Koch Rajbonshi Students' Union (AKRSU) set the bus with about 50 passengers inside it afire.

The AKRSU had called for a 300-hour National Highway blockade from October 18 last, demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the community.

The bus was plying from Lakhimpur to Cooch Behar and was carrying full capacity passengers as few buses were plying following the blockade.

The injured were taken to Dhubri civil hospital, while seven of the critically injured were referred to the Cooch Behar civil hospital.

Incidents of damage to vehicles, including burning down of trucks and stone pelting, had been reported from the AKRSU dominated belts of the state, but this is the first instance of attack on passenger vehicle.

AKRSU picketers had been earlier detained at several places, though the culprits behind this morning's carnage are yet to be identified.

The same outfit has called another 100-hour rail blockade from November 9.


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