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4 injured in police firing in bandh-bound Assam

Nagaon/Guwahati (Assam), May 5 (PTI): Four persons were injured when police in Assam's Nagaon district opened fire on a mob protesting against last week’s attack by alleged Bodo separatists on Muslim villagers.

Official sources said the police fired on the mob at Doboka area when supporters of the Muslim Students Union, which had called a 12-hour bandh, attacked and threw stones at them when asked to withdraw the roadblocks.

The injured were rushed to hospital, the sources said.

In another incident at Sonaribil, bandh supporters attacked and damaged the vehicles of Koliabari sub-divisional police officer and circle officer.

The sources said the bandh was partial in the Muslim-dominated areas and the situation was tense in the district.

The bandh was called to protest the killing of 34 people belonging to a minority community by anti-talk NDFB(S) in Baksa and Kokrajhar districts since Thursday last, forcing thousands to flee their homes.

The curfew was imposed since Friday was relaxed during the day in the two districts and neighbouring Chirang as no fresh violence was reported in those areas.

The prohibitory orders were relaxed for eight hours from 10am at Baksa, for six hours at Kokrajhar and for seven hours from 10am at Chirang respectively.

Flag march by the army continued to instil confidence in the people and security forces patrolled the affected areas to prevent fresh violence, the sources said.

Inspector General of Police L R Bishnoi claimed a major attack was averted with the killing of two NDFB-S militants in an encounter with the police at Baksal village in Udalguri district, which too falls under Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts.

Those who fled their homes during the violence were provided shelter by the government in relief camps.

The bandh, which began at 5am, affected normal life in Nagaon district where banks, post offices and some educational institutions remained closed and attendance in government offices was thin, the sources said.

Business establishments and shops, especially those owned by the minority community, put their shutters down during the bandh.

Vehicles mostly remained off the roads though a few long distance buses operated, while trains plied as usual, the sources added.