Assam violence toll rises to 31; 500 villagers take shelter in relief camps
toll in the latest violence in the two Bodoland districts of Assam has risen to
31 with the recovery of two more bodies on Sunday.
While the body
of Mamiran Nessa, 35, was fished out from the Beki river two kilometres
downstream from a village in Barpeta district, the body of Sahar Banu, 24, was
recovered from Khagrabari ghat, not far from the village that was attacked on
last rites of 18 of the 20 who were killed in Khagrabari village on Friday
evening were carried out on Sunday, in the presence of Assam Border Areas
Development Minister Siddique Ahmed, who was specially deputed by Chief
Minister Tarun Gogoi to assure the panic-stricken villagers that all measures
were being taken to provide security.
heavy deployment of security forces, including regular patrols by the Army,
about 500 people from the adjoining villages, including the survivors of
Khagrabari, took shelter in a makeshift relief camp on Sunday.
this, State Home Secretary G D Tripathi, however, claimed the situation had
returned to normal. “We are placing a police picket in the village in the next
two days and arranging to set up a temporary shelter for the families there so
that they can reconstruct their houses as soon as possible,” said Tripathi.
53 of the 56 houses were burnt on Friday evening, had about 280 people. “Where
do we go back? We have lost everything,” said Sobhan Ali, 29, whose family
escaped the attack. “I was supposed to go and get my family from my in-laws’
house in Kalgachiya in Barpeta district in the morning itself. But I got
delayed due to some work, and I finally left at around 4 pm. I had just crossed
the river and reached Bhangarapar bazar when I heard gun shots and saw smoke
rising from the village on the other side,” said Ali, whose grocery shop was
gutted in the fire.