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Call for probe into trader death

Bongaigaon, Jan. 6: Three Gorkha organisations today demanded a judicial probe into the killing of Kulbahadur Giri, a small trader from Malivita in Chirang district, who was allegedly gunned down by militants on New Year’s Day.

The All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union, Assam Gorkha Sanmelan and Assam Nepali Sahitya Sabha also demanded adequate compensation for Giri’s family and security for the Gorkha community.

The Assam Nepali Sahitya Sabha today staged a three-hour sit-in in front of the Chirang deputy commissioner’s office at Kajalgaon.

Life, however, has changed for the family of the slain trader, who was the sole breadwinner. His wife, Kausailya Giri, and five sons live at Dalihal in a thatched hut on a small plot of land.

Kausailya, 42, said her husband received a threat over phone on December 31 from an unknown person. On the morning of January 1, Kulbahadur left for Gelephu in Bhutan, 14km from his residence at Dalihal, to sell poultry. He took his youngest son Bhim Giri with him.

“Before getting ready for Gelephu, Kulbahadur hinted that his life was in danger and anything might happen to him,” Kausailya said.

After selling his poultry, Kulbahadur and his son were returning home with Bhutan-made liquor on a cycle in the afternoon.

“On the narrow lane along the Aie river, a youth in army fatigue accosted my father and dragged him towards the jungle. As my father pleaded with him, the militant fired two shots from his pistol and killed him on the spot. I fled from the scene to inform my village at Malivita,” Bhim said.

“I don’t know what I should ask from the government but I want to ask the killer why he killed my husband,” Kausailya said.

Village head Karna Bahadur Gutam said he also received a threat after a meeting was held at Malivita on December 31 against demand for money from a schoolteacher on December 24.

He said he had asked Kulbahadur to be careful.

The police do not have any leads regarding the identity of Kulbahadur’s killers or those who demanded money from the schoolteacher.

Chirang’s superintendent of police, Ranjan Bhuyan, said: “We still don’t have any clues as to why Kulbahadur was killed but our investigation is on.”

On the other hand, B.R. Ferrenga, the spokesperson for the Songbijit faction of the NDFB, told The Telegraph that an armed group, formed by the government, was using the outfit’s name to carry out killings and abductions in Chirang district.

He said the outfit was not involved in Kulbahadur’s killing or in demanding money from the schoolteacher.

Ferrenga said they would punish members of this “government-sponsored” group in “Taliban style” very soon.


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