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Protests continue in Tinsukia over killing

Jorhat, April 22: Tension simmered in Tinsukia district for the fourth consecutive day today over the killing of a villager at Kordoiguri with more than a thousand people staging a protest in front of the deputy commissionerís office against the government.

Led by All Assam Moran Studentsí Union, supported by AASU, AJYCP, KMSS, and a number of other studentsí organisations belonging to different communities, the protest, which continued for over five hours, is against the killing of a civilian, Pona Moran, at Kordoiguri village, about 45km from Tinsukia on Friday in an encounter between police and Ulfa (Paresh Barua faction) in which two militants and a police inspector were also killed.

A heavy contingent of police personnel was deployed to tackle any kind of situation during the protest.

The police had claimed that Pona Moran, whom the villagers said was an innocent civilian, was killed in the crossfirewhile the villagers claimed he was deliberately shot dead along with the rebels.

The general secretary of the All Assam Moran Studentsí Union, Probodh Baruah, told this correspondent that the protest would continue till the demands put forward by the organisation were met.

The studentsí body has called a 36-hour Assam bandh from 5am tomorrow in support of their demands.

ďWe will carry out with our protests if the government does not respond to our demands. We will not hold any talks with the district administration as we want chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who holds the home portfolio to talk to us,Ē Baruah said.

He alleged that such an incident was not the first and several innocent youths of Moranís community have been killed during counter-insurgency operations. ďNo one has got justice till today,Ē he said.

The demands include government instituting a high-level inquiry into the Kordoiguri incident and award exemplary punishment to the guilty, granting of Rs 20 lakh compensation to Khogeswari Moran (widow of Pona Moran), bear all expenses, including providing education, to the two sons of the victim and grant Rs 15 lakh to reconstruct the house, which was burnt by the security forces.

Baruah said the organisation has not accepted the district administrationís announcement in wake of the incident.

The district administration on Saturday had said Moranís family would be paid Rs 3 lakh in accordance with the state governmentís guidelines and a request would be sent to the Centre for an additional Rs 3 lakh.

The administration also promised aid for Moranís two minor sons under Assam policeís Project Ashwas, which, apart from providing financial assistance, would cover their educational expenses.

Moranís wife was also promised benefits from various government schemes.

The administration had also announced that Tinsukia superintendent of police P.P. Singh would conduct an inquiry into whether Moran was indeed innocent or an Ulfa linkman as well as the villagersí allegation that security forces had burnt down the house of Ponaís brother.

Singhís inquiry will be independent of the magisterial inquiry ordered by the Tinsukia deputy commissioner on Friday, which is being conducted by Doomdooma circle officer Pallab Mazumder.

Tinsukia deputy commissioner (in-charge) Jogesh Baruah told The Telegraph this evening that the administration was keeping a close watch on the situation and necessary steps were being taken to maintain law and order during the bandh period.


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