Villagers at the shelter in Garmurh on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos
Jorhat, Feb. 9: A mob attacked three villages under Panigaon police station in Lakhimpur district last evening, forcing more than 500 people to flee to bordering Majuli island by crossing the Luhit — a tributary of the Brahmaputra.
Preliminary investigation suggests the trigger for the attack was a brawl that broke out between youths of two communities over parking of their vehicles at Majuli ferry ghat.
An official of the Majuli sub-division administration, Ajit Sarma, told The Telegraph today that about 200 villagers were given shelter and food at Garmurh xoruxatra auditorium last night. “This morning about 600 people, who had probably taken shelter in various villages of Majuli, gathered at the xatra’s auditorium. They were given lunch and sent back today following a discussion with the Lakhimpur district administration, which promised them security,” Sarma said.
He said several injured persons had been admitted to Garmurh civil hospital on the island. Their condition is said to be stable.
Sarma said the Majuli administration had to get involved because the villagers fled to the island in Jorhat district for shelter. “The incident took place in neighbouring Lakhimpur district and we have nothing to do with this,” he said.
Sources said there has been an on-going tiff between people of one community — living in Baligaon, Nagargaon and Tamulguri villages — and those of another community living nearby over the parking of vehicles used to ferry people to and fro from Lakhimpur to Majuli ferry ghat.
The attacked villagers alleged that youths from their community were prevented from parking their vehicles at the ghat by vehicle-owners of the other community, who dominate the area.
This resulted in a major brawl yesterday. Later, the three villages were attacked. Several persons were injured in the attack, forcing the villagers to flee.
An official at Panigaon police station said security has been provided at the three villages and people have started returning from Majuli.
“No arrests have been made till now but investigations are on,” he said.
The official said they were trying to solve the matter amicably and a meeting between the two parties had been arranged.
He said the mob had damaged a few houses in Nagargaon but the houses and property in the other two villages were intact.