A state legislator in Assam has been detained by the police for his alleged role in the recent ethnic clashes in the state that have left over 70 people dead in the last one month.
Pradeep Brahma, who represents the Kokrajhar (West) constituency, was arrested from his house at 1 am; seven cases have been registered against him. Mr Brahma is an MLA from the Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF), which is an ally of the ruling Congress in Assam. Mr Brahma's supporters have blocked a local railway line and also Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon railway stations. Due to this, Guwahati-bound Rajdhani Express has been stranded at the New Jalpaiguri station in Bengal. In anticipation of violence, the police has imposed a curfew in Kokrajhar.
The ethnic violence in Assam between the indigenous Bodo tribals and Muslim settlers has ravaged three of the four districts in Lower Assam that are governed by the Bodoland Territorial Council.
Mr Brahma's party, the BPF, is the ruling party in the council.