The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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20 killed as Guwahati erupts in violence, army out

Guwahati, Nov 24 (PTI): The army was called out and an indefinite curfew clamped today after large-scale violence left at least 100 persons injured as thousands of agitating Adivasi students vandalised shops, torched several buses and vehicles.

Witnesses from the spot said atleast 20 people were killed and more than hundred people critically injured. Officially the number of deaths and injured has not been declared till now. The number of injured can increase.

Principal secretary (home) Subhas Das told PTI that 60 of the injured were hospitalised and added there were no deaths.

Das said the Adivasi students’ union members after holding a rally at Beltola demanding ST status tried to march towards the assembly at Dispur. When they were stopped by policemen at the lastgate area, the agitating students attacked and injured a magistrate.

The students, armed with bows, arrows and lathis, vandalised private property and shops and set several vehicles ablaze turning the area from Dispur to Bashista into a ”battleground”, official sources said.

With no police in sight, the local people furious at their property being attacked, retaliated and clashed with the students resulting in several being injured from both sides, they said.

Angered over this, the sloganeering students ransacked and looted shops in other areas too.

An indefinite curfew was imposed in the area and army was called out to control the situation, they said.

Mediapersons who went to the spot were not allowed to go further as thousands of people could be seen running and hear the protesters shouting.

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