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KLO calls strike to protest ‘encounter’

Feb. 4: The KLO has called a 12-hour strike on February 6 in north Bengal and four districts in Assam to protest the death of self-styled commander of the outfit, Brindaban Rajbanshi, in an “encounter” with Assam police and the army.

Rajbanshi was gunned down at Kokrajhar in Assam on February 1 and arms, grenades and currency notes of Myanmar had been recovered from his possession.

Kailash Koch, self-styled general secretary of the KLO, issued a press release today announcing the strike. “It is published in the media, that the Indian Army and Assam Police killed Brindaban Rajbongshi in an encounter at Naigaon...on Saturday night. Police has claimed that Brindaban Rajbongshi was killed in an encounter and recovered one pistol, one grenade, some documents and foreign currency from him,” it read.

The release called it a “fake encounter” and claimed that Rajbanshi had been arrested on January 31. “We, clarify that this statement (of Assam police) is totally false. No pistol and grenade has been recovered… he was caught on Friday around 10am while he was going to Bongaigaon... he was brought to Naigaon near Salakati in Kokrajhar district and was killed. This is the cold blooded fake encounter.”

“We call 12-hour general strike of Kamtapur affecting from 5am to 5pm on February 6 against Assam police for killing our cadre in fake encounter,” it states. The outfit called Rajbanshi a “Corporal,” saying: “Assam police will have to pay his cost of life very soon.”

Jawed Shamim, inspector general of police, north Bengal, said: “We are keeping a close watch. Necessary security arrangements have been made along the borders.”