Kokrajhar: With the death toll rising to 38, the situation in Assam continues to remain grim as Kokrajhar violence spread like wildfire till Bengal border.

Fresh clashes between minority immigrants and Bodo tribals and cases of arson were on Wednesday reported from lower Assam even as shoot-at-sight orders remained in force in Kokrajhar district which bore the brunt of the violence.   

Assam violence pics

Over 30,000 passengers stranded in Assam

Six more persons fell victim to unabated violence between minority immigrants and Bodos in three districts of lower Assam, taking the death toll in the ethnic strife to 38 even as the entire Northeast remained cut off by rail for the second day on Wednesday.
    
Four more bodies were recovered on Wednesday from Bijni in Chirang district and two from worst-hit Kokrajhar where shoot-at-sight orders remained in force, the police said.    

Curfew was relaxed in Kokrajhar district from 8 AM to 12 noon, but has since been reimposed indefinitely while shoot-at-sight orders were on, official sources said. Curfew has been extended indefinitely in Chirang and Dhubri districts where night curfew was earlier in force.

Army rushed to Assam
    
Thirteen columns of the Army were deployed in the four districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Dhubri and Bongaigaon where they staged flag marches accompanied by a magistrate. Colonel S. Phogat, defence spokesman, said that the Army units had identified a number of sensitive and hyper-sensitive areas in the four districts to enable them to better patrol them.

The Centre has so far sent 2,900 para-military forces to quell the violence which escalated since Friday last.

A 20-member all-party team of the Assam Legislative Assembly, led by Deputy Speaker Bhimananda Tanti, is scheduled to visit the violence-affected districts. Assam Director General of Police J N Choudhury was camping in the area and monitoring the situation.
    
Five Assam ministers Prithbi Majhi, Nilamoni Sen Deka, Nazrul Islam, Rockybul Hussain and Chandan Brahma are also camping in the affected areas.

In Guwahati, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi held a meeting of government officials, including the Chief Secretary, to monitor the situation. Kokrajhar accounted for 25 deaths, including four killed in police firing on Tuesday, and Chirang 13.    

People turn homeless in Assam

Amid the ongoing attacks, people continued to flee for safety to 116 relief camps in Chirang and Kokrajhar district on Tuesday. Both Muslims as well as the Bodos have been affected by the violence. An estimated two lakh people have fled their homes and taken shelter in 150 relief camps set up in the three districts as nearly 500 villages have been abandoned following the violence.
        
There were reports of food and drinking water shortage among the passengers leading to protests by them.

(JPN/Agencies)

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