Nine persons have been killed and 12 injured in four clashes between warring communities in Kokrajhar district of western Assam since Friday night.
The district administration clamped a curfew in Kokrajhar town and restricted public gatherings in the district’s Gossaigaon sub-division. The Army was kept on standby while additional paramilitary forces were deployed in the region to prevent escalation of violence.
Tension erupted on Friday night, when four youths of the Bodo tribal community were hacked to death by residents of the Muslim-dominated Jayapur village, in the Kokrajhar police station limits. The victims, identified as Dhrubajyoti Gayari, Jatin Goyari, Pradip Narzary and Jungsar Boro, were former cadres of the disbanded Bodo Liberation Tiger (BLT).
In the violence that followed, unidentified persons fired at a house in Simb-urgaon Thalitpuri at 3.30 am on Saturday, killing one and injuring four others of the same family.
Later, at 5 pm on Saturday, a Bodo village was attacked by a mob at Paraura village in the Fakiragram police station limits. Three persons were killed and six others injured even as the mob set several houses on fire.
In another incident, two persons were injured when miscreants opened fire at them in Maktai village, near the Assam-Bengal border.
CM Tarun Gogoi said steps have been taken to ensure that the violence does not escalate. The state has announced an ex-gratia of R3 lakh each for the victims’ relatives, and R50,000 for the injured.
Police said the problem started on July 6, when motorcycle-borne miscreants fired at some people, belonging to a minority community, near a bridge on the Kokrajhar-Dotma-Gossaigaon Road — killing two of them. Later, on July 20, two leaders of the All Bodoland Minority Students Union were shot at by unidentified youths in Magurmari.