31 Killed in Assam Violence; Chief Minister Says He Won't Step Down

31 Killed in Assam Violence; Chief Minister Says He Won't Step Down

Security forces stand guard at one of the violence-affected villages in Assam

Thirty one people have been killed so far in the violence in lower Assam. On the ground, there is worry and anxiety about the future despite a heavy security deployment and efforts are on by the Assam government to contain the situation. A curfew, which was imposed in the three violence-hit districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang and Baksa, was relaxed during the day in Kokrajhar and Baksa but is now back in effect. Shoot-at-sight orders are also in place in Baksa. The Centre has made available additional forces to Assam to restore normalcy.

Here are the latest developments

  1. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the "cowardly" terror attack and promised all measures to restore peace there. (Read PM's full statement)

  2. Under PM's directions, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth held a review meeting with central and state authorities in New Delhi. After the meeting, the Prime Minister's Office said that 20 companies (approximately 2000 personnel) of central forces have been made available to the state and additional companies, including Cobra companies, will be sent as required.

  3. Seven bodies were found in Shalbari in Baksa district on Friday night. Five of them were children. The Army has been called in, and its teams staged flag marches in troubled areas on Saturday. (Read: 11 Dead in Targeted Killings in 12 Hours in Kokrajhar)

  4. Relief camps are being set up by the state government for those affected.

  5. The police have arrested 12 people in Baksa and have picked up eight for questioning in Kokrajhar. Sources say those arrested were providing logistics to the extremists carrying out the attacks.

  6. At an emergency meeting chaired by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi this afternoon, the Assam government has decided to seek a probe by the National Investigation Agency into the violence.

  7. "I take responsibility of the grim situation, but I cannot say that it was total failure of home department... I will not step down as Chief Minister, I am not a coward... I will not run away from battlefield, I will fight the terrorists," Mr Gogoi said, amid demands for his resignation from all opposition parties and a section of civil society in the state.

  8. The killings took place in three separate attacks in the last 36 hours in the areas falling under the Bodoland Territorial Council.

  9. The rebels have been fighting for a separate homeland for the region's ethnic Bodo people and the latest round of violence comes just days after voting in the region for the national election on April 24.

  10. The region was subjected to large-riots between Bodos and Muslims in 2012. Over a 100 people were killed, and lakhs displaced.



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