Violence returned to Assam after a brief lull claiming seven lives, five of them in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) area and two near the Arunachal Pradesh border in Dhemaji, the state’s easternmost district 450km away.
Saturday’s killings have taken the toll to 87 in the clashes between multi-faith Bodo tribals and migrant Muslim settlers since July 20.
The return of violence coincided with the visit of Karnataka deputy CM R Ashok, police chief Lalrokhuma Pachuau and other senior officials. The team is on a goodwill mission to urge ‘northeasterners’ to return to their workplaces in Bangalore and other cities in the south.
According to the police, in western Assam’s Chirang district, armed miscreants attacked two vehicles at Choudhurypara under Bijni police station. The vehicles were carrying six people from Amguri High School relief camp to Mangolian Bazaar village.
The violence in Chirang district started from this village on July 23. The victims were returning from camps, allegedly under government pressure.
“The police located five bodies around 6.45pm in a field while the sixth person, driver of one of the vehicles, is missing,” said IGP (law and order), LR Vishnoi.
Indefinite curfew was subsequently clamped in the district.
Barely 24 hours earlier, a group of youths abducted and killed two persons at Chongkong village under Simen Sapori police station in Dhemaji district. The victims were on their way to Dibrugarh town.
A district police officer said they were yet to find out if the Dhemaji killing was related to the BTC violence. However, the same communities were involved there too. “We have picked up six persons,” an officer said.