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Troops patrol violence-hit Assam

Meanwhile, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad is set to arrive in Assam to sympathise with the Hindi-speaking people. Your take

india Updated: Jan 08, 2007 13:13 IST

Troops patrolled violence-torn Assam on Monday with the death toll in the weekend attacks by the targeting Hindi-speaking people mounting to62 while security forces killed two separatists overnight.

14more people were killed in a landmine explosion over the weekend in a separate incident not directly related to the ongoing carnage against the Hindi-speakers by the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

A police spokesperson said two ULFA rebels were killed in an encounter with security forces in the eastern Sivasagar district.

Hours after Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal offered fresh peace talks, the ULFA gunned down struck again and wounded four in Mahmora area in Sivasagar district.

All the victims were Hindi-speaking migrant workers.

"There has been no other reports of violence reported so far with troops conducting offensives and patrolling vulnerable areas," a police official said.

An indefinite curfew clamped on Saturday in the Tinsukia district is likely to be relaxed on Monday afternoon for a few hours to enable locals to stock up on essentials.

"We shall be reviewing the situation later in the day and see if we could relax curfew for a few hours," Tinsukia district magistrate Absar Hazarika said.

Meanwhile, eight people killed near Longsowal in Tinsukia district on Saturday were being cremated on Monday.

"The time now is for restraint and be calm so that forces inimical to the interest of the state could not take advantage of the situation. Security forces are deployed across the state to prevent further attacks," said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav is scheduled to arriving in Assam later on Monday to sympathise with the Hindi-speaking community.

Three ministers and a senior police official from Bihar are also camping in Tinsukia since Sunday to take stock of the situation.

Most of the victims were from Bihar and had made Assam their home for decades, doing odd jobs as brick kiln workers, fishermen, and daily wage earners.

In 2000, ULFA militants killed at least 100 Hindi-speaking people in Assam in a series of well-planned attacks after the rebel group vowed to free the state of all "non-Assamese migrant workers".

First Published: Jan 08, 2007 10:01 IST