Curfew after 2 more killed in Kokrajhar

An indefinite curfew was imposed in Kokrajhar district on Thursday after two persons were stabbed to death in two separate incidents in the morning, one of them in the heart of the district town. The Army has been called out to assist the civil administration so that the situation does not go out of hand.

While one Nelson Basumatary was killed when a group of three miscreants attacked and stabbed him at Telipara under Gossaigaon police station at around 8 am, a vegetable vendor identified as Abul Kalam was killed when he was attacked with sharp weapons in the Kokrajhar town vegetable market at around 9 am.

With Thursday's killings, the number of persons killed in the recent spate of renewed violence since a series of fresh incidents began last Saturday in Kokrajhar and Chirang — both Bodoland districts — has risen to seven. Five of the victims are Muslims, the other two are Bodos.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had only last week claimed that normalcy was fast returning to Kokrajhar and that more than 4.46 lakh persons displaced during the July violence had returned to their respective villages in the past few weeks. More than 4.78 lakh people were displaced and over 100 killed in the violence.

"The recent trend has been slightly different than the July violence when miscreants went in groups to set villages on fire. In all the latest cases, miscreants have chosen specific targets," G D Tripathi, state Home Secretary said. In all the cases the victims have been petty vendors or subsistence farmers, apart from one woman who was killed when armed miscreants attacked a particular house in a village on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Manmohan Singh on Thursday night called up Gogoi and took stock of the latest situation in Kokrajhar and asked him to come down heavily on the miscreants. "The Prime Minister had a telephonic discussion with the Chief Minister, during which he said some forces are trying to foment trouble across the country. He inquired from the Chief Minister about steps taken to control the Kokrajhar situation, and asked the state government to come down heavily on the miscreants responsible for the recent spate of violent incidents," a CMO official said.

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