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Violence-rerun rumours fuel security demand

Districts on alert for Friday

Army officials attend to villagers during the medical camp at Balapara on Tuesday. Telegraph picture

May 13: Several organisations have urged the Dhubri district administration to ensure the safety of the people in view of rumours of renewed violence after May 16, the counting day for the Lok Sabha election.

The district has been tense following the killing of eight persons on May 1 at Balapara village in Kokrajhar district, which shares a border with Dhubri near Sapatgram.

Dhubri district AIUDF adviser and media secretary Masud Akhtar Zaman expressed apprehension on the breach of peace in the BTAD and its impact on the district.

“As of now, Dhubri district appears to be peaceful but fear haunts the minds of the minority community people living in several villages under Gauripur, Chapor and Bilasipara police station, along the BTAD border,” Zaman said.

He said the party had urged the district administration and security personnel to be on alert.

Dhubri district’s BJP secretary Prosenjit Dutta also expressed concern over the anxiety prevailing in the minds of the people.

“Whatever the result might be, we will not allow the peace in the district to be breached. We urge the district administration to take note of the situation and initiate prompt action against the perpetrators of trouble,” Dutta added.

The treasurer of the Sadau Dhubri Puja Samanaya Samiti, Pratho Pradip Dutta, also expressed concern over the tense situation prevailing along inter-district border.

The president of the Dhubri Marwari Yuva Manch, Gopal Kumar More, said they had suffered a lot during the BTAD violence in 2012 when curfew had continued for months together.

The Manch submitted a memorandum to chief minister Tarun Gogoi yesterday to keep the security forces alert in the district.

A medical camp was organised at Balapara today in an attempt to heal the wounds of violence and instil confidence among the people by the army personnel at Dhubri’s Panbari camp.

Motleb Ali, the gaon burha of Balapara village who attended the medical camp, said the presence of the army at Balapara instilled confidence in them.

“The killing and violence on the night of May 1 had unnerved us and we had planned to leave the villages. The army told us to stay in the village and they supported us in every way,” said Gulzar Ali, another villager.

An army source said the camp proved to be helpful for the people of trouble-torn Balapara and adjoining areas of Dhubri.

The Kokrajhar district administration is contemplating imposing a curfew on the day of counting of votes.

“We are discussing the option of imposing curfew on counting day to maintain a peaceful atmosphere in the district and to avoid unwanted violence,” Kokrajhar deputy commissioner Nitin Khade said.

Curfew is likely to continue for at least three or four days even after declaration of results. “Peace is our first priority,” Khade said.

He said the victorious party would not be allowed to celebrate en masse in the district.

Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said a few days ago that the situation in the BTAD might deteriorate further on May 16.

An all-party meeting comprising candidates and party agents was held at the deputy commissioner’s office in Kokrajhar today.

Khade urged the parties to co-operate with the administration on counting day.

Talking to reporters, he said the administration is prepared and has made all necessary arrangements for peaceful counting.

He said counting personnel had been appointed and imparted training according to the Election Commission’s guidelines. Adequate security arrangements have been made to thwart any untoward incidents and the army has been kept on standby in case of emergency.

He urged all to maintain peace and said there should not be any provocation or instigation.


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