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Silchar in southern Assam on edge after communal clashes

Police say there was no immediate trigger for the clashes but the situation in the town has been tense for almost a year after a Hindu girl eloped with a Muslim boy.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2018 12:44 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Assam,Silchar,Cachar district
A low intensity clash broke out at Kalibari Char area of Silchar when the two communities pelted stones on each other and vandalised houses.(ReutersFile Photo/For Representation)

Authorities in Silchar in Assam’s Cachar district deployed two platoons of the CRPF and two platoons of the BSF late Monday after communal clashes over the last two days pushed the town to the edge.

On Monday night, as rumours flew on social media with photos of injured people doing the rounds, an autorickshaw was set on fire by some miscreants at around 11 pm in the Rangikhari point area, the police said.

Earlier on Sunday night, a low intensity clash broke out at Kalibari Char area of Silchar when the two communities pelted stones on each other and vandalised houses. The town in the Barak Valley has been tense for almost a year now.

Reports say the area, barely 700 metres from the Silchar Police station, close to the Barak river, has seen stray incidents of stone pelting in the recent past. However, the situation came to a head on Sunday night leading to a clash.

More than 10 people were reported to be injured in Sunday’s clashes. Three of them, including Noor Islam Laskar, his wife Zamira Begum Laskar and daughter Ayesha Laskar, from the Kalibari Char area are recovering at the Silchar Medical College, the police said.

“Two people have been detained in connection with the Monday night incident,” Cachar’s superintendent of police, Rakesh Roushan said.

Three others are being questioned for the Sunday’s violence, Roushan added. He claimed that the situation is under control. Despite the clashes, prohibitory orders have not issued.

The district police chief said there seemed to be no immediate provocation for the clashes.

“The situation in the area has been tough since last year when a Hindu girl eloped with a Muslim boy,” Roushan said referring to the June 2017 incident which led to a communal clash in the town.

While there was a peace meeting between members of the both the communities and the district administration, a section of the local media also swung into action.

“Since last night several provocative Whatsapp messages are doing rounds in Barak Valley, these messages are political agenda and we urge people not to react to these messages,” Barakbulletin.com, a local news website wrote in an appeal published on Monday.

First Published: Apr 10, 2018 12:44 IST