Rangiya (Assam): Ethnic violence that has rocked parts of lower Assam today spread to a new district where incidents of arson were reported, forcing the Army to stage a flag march.
A group of people torched several vehicles at Rangiya area in Kamrup (Rural) district, which had not been affected earlier in the violence between tribal Bodos and members of the minority that claimed 77 lives so far in Kokrajhar, Chirang, Dhubri and Baksa districts.
A car was set ablaze at Gandhibari in Baksa district last night and its driver, Sahidul Hussain, has been missing since then. The car was returning from Baksa to Rangiya.
After the news reached Rangiya, angry locals blocked NH-31 at Udiana Chowk under Rangiya police station since early morning to protest against the incident.
The mob also tried to attack the vehicle of Rangiya SDO, Barnali Deka, forcing the police to use tear gas and fire in the air to disperse the crowd, the sources said, adding Deka was safe.
A bus going towards Guwahati at Bhatkuchi was torched and several other vehicles stranded on the highway were damaged by the mob that also set afire a wooden bridge at Kekahati.
The Army staged a flag march at Rangiya area after the incidents, the sources said, adding top district officials are also camping there.
The situation was officially declared as "tense but under control" Kamrup (rural) district.
Over four lakh people were rendered homeless in the violence in lower Assam that started late last month.