Bihar protests Assam killings
Hundreds in Bihar on Monday took out marches and burnt effigies of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in a show of anger against the killings of more than 50 migrant labourers from the state by militants in Assam.
The protestors demanded that the government ensure the safety and security of Bihari workers and families in Assam. Effigies of central Home Minister Shivraj Patil were also set aflame.
The protestors, mainly leaders and workers of political parties, demanded compensation to the families of the victims.
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of Steel Minister Ramvilas Paswan on Monday threatened to stop rail traffic to Assam if no action was taken against the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) responsible for the killings.
"LJP will stop all trains either coming from or going to Assam that pass through Bihar," said Ghulam Rasool Baliyawi, the state LJP president.
He said the party had urged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to visit Assam to assess the situation and console the victims' families.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad has demanded that compensation of Rs 1 million each be paid to the kin of those killed. It wants all Bihari labourers in Assam to be protected.
State Congress President Sadanand Singh said the killings were the handiwork of "anti-national forces".
The Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist took out a protest march in Patna and other districts on Sunday.
Earlier, Nitish Kumar announced a compensation of Rs 100,000 each to the families of the killed. A team led by three state ministers is visiting Assam.
Officials said Nitish Kumar was in touch with the Assam chief minister.
The Bihar government sounded a red alert across the state to avert any retaliatory attacks on people from Assam, particularly passengers of trains from Assam passing through the state.
"We have provided special security on each train going to and coming from Assam as they pass through Bihar," Ajay Verma, the deputy inspector general in charge of railways told on Monday.
Special reinforcements were being provided at each major station in the state.
In 2000, Bihar witnessed retaliatory violence on trains following similar killings of Bihari labourers in Assam.
A large number of labourers mainly from rural Bihar have been working in different parts of Assam for decades.