Assam: Man let off after convincing he was Muslim



Kokrajhar: A 30-year-old man who was detained after arousing the suspicion of the CRPF on the outskirts of this town in Assam, was let off after he could convince the securitymen that he was a Muslim.

Mokibur Rahman was guarding his house on July 22 at Magurmari village after most residents fled to Bilasipara in Dhubri district when some CRPF men called him out. "Somebody had flashed a light from near my house at their post on the other side of the road. And, they thought it was me," Rahman said here.

"Maybe they presumed that I had entered somebody's courtyard. Maybe they thought I was an arsonist on a recce," he said.

A search of his person revealed a dagger and a torch which made the CRPF men even more suspicious and he was taken to their camp, he said.

The securitymen would not believe that he was a Muslim and a victim of the clashes, he said.

"Looking back, I can realise now how tense the situation must have been for the CRPF personnel trying as they were to maintain peace in such an environment. My sole concern at the time was to convince them of my identity," Rahman said.

Finally, a CRPF man who Rahman thought was from Jammu and Kashmir was brought. "His first question was how many times a Muslim was expected to pray during the day. At any other time I would have had a good laugh over the question. But that night all I felt was anger and fear, both at the same time.

"He then asked me about the Ramzan fast, which had only begun a day or two earlier, and a few other questions and was convinced," he said.

"Half an hour later, I was back in my home. Even otherwise I would have been released. But, looking back, it seems funny," Rahman said.

His elder brother Habibur Islam, along with a friend, had been shot and wounded by miscreants on July 19.

That incident, followed a day later by killing of four former Bodo Liberation Tiger militants, ignited the violence in Kokrajhar and neighbouring districts.

PTI