Bodo MLA’s arrest sparks stir, curfew in Kokrajhar
The threat of violence in western Assam’s Kokrajhar district, the worst affected in the Bodo-Muslim clashes over the past month, prompted the administration to impose an indefinite curfew in the district on Thursday morning.
Curfew was clamped after activists of the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) launched protests and rail blockades soon after its MLA Pradip Kumar Brahma was arrested in the early hours of the day. The BPF, an ally of the ruling Congress in the state, threatened to intensify its agitation unless Brahma was releases immediately after being produced before the chief judicial magistrate, who remanded him to 14 days in police custody.
Brahma was arrested on seven charges of firing and arson in which at least 80 people were killed and about 400,000 forced to flee their villages since violence broke out in Kokrajhar on July 20.
“Pradip Brahma , an MLA, has been arrested,” confirmed IGP (Law and Order) LR Vishno, adding that some people blockaded train movements at three places in the district. “Indefinite curfew has been clamped in Kokrajhar and forces have been deployed in all sensitive places,” he said.
Condemning Brahma’s arrest, BPF MLA Pramila Brahma alleged the police was biased in its probe into the recent riots by targeting Bodo leaders and sparing Muslims.
“Why are the police not arresting AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) chief Badruddin Ajmal, who was one of the main culprits inciting the religious minorities against Bodos?” asked Pramila Brahma.
Meanwhile, CM Tarun Gogoi met editors of media organistions in Guwahati and appealed to them to extend cooperation to the government in its endeavour to restore peace and to start the process of rehabilitating the displaced. He said only Indian citizens would be rehabilitated.