Debating India

AGITATION-5THLD VIOLENCE

Fresh attaks on Biharis in Assam, 12 more killed

PTI

Saturday 22 November 2003

Article paru dans Outlook India, ?dition du 22 novembre 2003.

In fresh attacks on Biharis, ULFA militants today shot dead 11 brick kiln labourers while another was killed in a group clash in worst hit Tinsukhia and Dibrugarh districts of Assam, raising the toll in ethnic violence to 46.

GUWAHATI, NOV 22

In probably the worst attack in Tinsukhia district, which alone accounts for 24 deaths, ULFA militants struck near Mahakali Tea Estate in Burdobi area around 8.30 A.M. and shot dead eight labourers.

Around one-and a half hours later, the militants struck again at a distance of five kms near Lankesh Tea Estate and opened indiscriminate fire killing three labourers and injuring two others. Most victims hailed from Muzaffarpur and Chapra districts.

Following the attacks the state government transferred Deputy Commissioner B N Das and suspended Superintendent of Police I K Gogoi for failing to control the situation, according to an official spokesman.

One person was killed in a group clash in Kakopathar area of Dibrugarh district.

Meanwhile, curfew, which was relaxed for five hours from 10 A.M. in Tinsukhia district areas was reimposed around noon.

Today’s attack by ULFA militants was the worst single strike in the district as earlier casualties were mainly in stray incidents.

Inspector General of Police K N Sarma told PTI that three companies of BSF have been deployed in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts since this morning and the seven remaining companies of the 13 BSF companies provided by the Centre were expected to arrive by this evening.

Five columns of army, deployed in Tinsukia for counter-insurgency operations, were aiding the district administration to contain violence, he said.

However, Sarma said the killing of labourers was a case of "insurgent attack" and "was not related" to the ongoing misunderstanding between the Assamese and Biharis.

"There have been earlier precedence of banned ULFA targetting Bihari migrants, mostly labourers, killing 29 in a single attack in the year 2000", he said.

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