Curfew relaxed for six hours in Kokrajhar

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 19, 2012 11:46 hrs

Kokrajhar : Curfew was relaxed for six hours in Assam's Kokrajhar district on Monday to allow people of the area to purchase essentials.

Curfew had been imposed and the army had been called in on November 16.

According to media reports, after a brief lull, at least four people including a child were killed as fresh violence broke out in Kokrajhar.

Also, sources said that an unidentified group of people, armed with razor-sharp weaponry, attacked a market in Kokrajhar and critically injured a trader, who was identified as Abdul Kalam.

This incident reportedly took the death toll to 10 people.

Speaking to reporters, Inspector General of Police, G.P. Singh, said curfew would be lifted if the situation normalises.

"We will again review and as the situation improves, then we will remove the curfew also," he said.

During the six hours, when the curfew was relaxed, locals were seen in the market area withdrawing money, buying essential items.

Singh added that they had taken the assistance of the army and the military forces to nab the perpetrators of the recent violence.

"The operations all over the area, especially in the Kokrajhar district, we have taken help of army, paramilitary forces and our state police forces. Cordon and search operations are going on in the entire region. Basically, the idea is that all the miscreants who are involved in the recent incidents should be arrested," he said.

Nearly after almost four months since deadly riots between Bodo tribes' people and Muslim villagers erupted in Kokrajhar and its surrounding districts, curfews have become the norm, and fear now stalks this lush, riverine region that borders Bangladesh.

More than 85 people have died - shot or hacked to death with machetes. Hundreds of thousands of people from both communities have left their homes, seeking refuge in schools that have been converted into camps for the displaced.

Hundreds of villages were burnt to the ground and possessions looted as the rioters went on the rampage. Their rage has also hit urban areas like Kokrajhar town, where the charred shells of homes remain.

The government said that many of the 400,000 displaced had returned to their homes, but there are still over 275,000 people - mostly Muslims-who continue to live in the camps, which are overcrowded and squalid.

Though the rate of murders had declined in recent weeks, but killings still occur every few days, despite the heavy presence of police and paramilitary who are seen patrolling the area with red flag tied the sides of their side mirrors - a warning sigh to rioters. (ANI)

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