Assam violence: 12 arrested after another 9 bodies recovered; death toll rises to 32
Nine more bodies have been found in the Baksa district of Assam, after the last count of 22 given by the officials on Friday night.
The police have arrested 12 people in Baksa and another 8 have been taken in for questioning in Kokrajhar.
A curfew has been clamped in Assam’s Baksa and Kokrajhar districts after the death toll in the targeted killings by suspected Bodo militants has risen to 32. The army has carried out flag marches, and shoot-on-sight orders have been issued in both the districts.
Biswajit Daimary, Bodoland People’s Front, said, “Hope situation in Kokrajhar will be controlled,these anti-social culprits must be punished.”
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today decried the role of sectarian and militant groups, expressing deep anguish and sorrow over the tragedy. Gandhi said, “the inherent plurality of India will never let divisive and violent forces succeed.” She also said Congress party and the entire country stand with the family of those killed in the attack.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is keeping a close watch on the Assam situation in the wake of violence in two communally-sensitive districts of the state that has claimed at least 32 lives.
Late on Friday evening, 12 bodies were recovered in the villages of Narayanguri and Khagrabari adjoining each other on the fringes of Manas National Park in Baksa. A group of militants reportedly belonging to the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit faction) stormed the Naraynguri area, and fired indiscriminately, killing at least nine people on the spot.
According to reports, seven women and two men were among the dead. The rebels also set around 50 houses on fire in the area. After the attacks many of the villagers from the above-mentioned districts fled to nearby villages to be safe. Most of the people living in these areas are non-Bodo people.
Ethnic riots between tribal Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslims in BTAD in 2012 had claimed over 100 lives. The opposition parties besides groups and organisations sniffed a political conspiracy in the attacks given the growing dissidence within the ruling Congress in the state. They demanded Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi resign immediately owning ‘moral responsibility’. The attacks prompted the authorities to rush additional forces to the restive areas and Gogoi to cancel his official visit to Germany.