Assam violence: 19 dead, Rajdhani Express stopped in Kokrajhar
Kokrajhar: Two more bodies were recovered on Monday taking the toll to 19 in the violence in Assam`s Bodoland Territorial Administered Districts (BTAD), as the Rajdhani Express was stopped by protestors in Kokrajhar district, police said.
The bodies were recovered from the banks of river Gouranga this morning, they said.
Police personnel fired in the air when the bandh supporters tried to forcibly close down shops in Golokgunj and Gauripur towns in Dhubri district during a 12-hour bandh, called by the All Assam Minority Students` Union(AAMSU) to protest attacks on the minorities in BTAD districts, Superintendent of Police Pradip Saloi said.
Bandh supporters also ransacked the office of Bodoland Peoples` Front in Gauripur town.
The AAMSU subsequently withdrew the bandh following an appeal by ministers.
The Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express was stopped at Pratapkhat between Kokrajhar and Gossaigaon by people from nearby villages who alleged that their houses were damaged by miscreants when they moved to relief camps, IGP(BTAD) S N Singh said.
Trains were controlled at different points as a result.
An additional nine companies of para-military forces were deployed in the district while the army was assisting in maintaining law and order, Singh said.
Assam Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Nazrul Islam reached Kokrajhar and appealed to people to maintain peace and calm and not heed rumours.
APCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita urged the state government to take measures to curb the violence and directed party workers to form peace committees and take out peace rallies.
A five-member committee of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee left for Kokrajhar and Chirang districts to assess the situation and help in restoring peace.
The violence was triggered with the firing on two student leaders who were critically injured - Mohibul Islam of All Bodoland Minority Students` Union (ABMSU) and Abdul Siddique Sheikh of All Assam Minority Students` Union (AAMSU) in Kokrajhar.
In a retaliatory attack, four former Bodo Liberation Tigers cadres were killed on Friday night in the district and this led to further attacks and counter-attacks resulting in the deaths.
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