Curfew relaxed in violence-hit Kokrajhar

Curfew imposed in Assam`s Kokrajhar district following recent violence was today relaxed for four hours.

Kokrajhar: Curfew imposed in Assam`s Kokrajhar district following recent violence was on Sunday relaxed for four hours.

The Kokrajhar district administration relaxed the prohibitory order from 10 am to 2 pm.

Unidentified gunmen killed four persons in Kokrajhar late on Friday night, taking the death toll in the renewed violence in the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) to 10.

Over 60 miscreants have been arrested in Kokrajhar till now. Senior police officials are camping in the district to oversee law and order.

Army is staging a flag march since Thursday and 65 companies of Central Para-military forces have maintained strict vigil. Security personnel have also been deployed at 128 fixed pickets.

Meanwhile, security has been tightened in lower Assam`s Dhubri town in view of Chhat Puja and night curfew would be relaxed on Monday to facilitate observance of rituals.

Besides a general security blanket has been put in place, sensitive places have been sanitised and additional security personnel were deployed in vulnerable areas of the communally sensitive Dhubri district.

Nearly after three months since deadly riots between Bodo tribes` people and Muslim villagers erupted in Kokrajhar and its surrounding districts, curfews have become the norm, and fear now stalks this lush, riverine region that borders Bangladesh.

More than 85 people have died - shot or hacked to death with machetes. Hundreds of thousands of people from both communities have left their homes, seeking refuge in schools that have been converted into camps for the displaced.

Hundreds of villages have been burnt to the ground and possessions looted as the rioters have gone on the rampage. Their rage has also hit urban areas like Kokrajhar town, where the charred shells of homes remain.

The government says many of the 400,000 displaced have been able to return to their homes, but there are still over 275,000 people - mostly Muslims -- who continue to live in the camps, which are overcrowded and squalid.