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Farmer injured in night raid

Bongaigaon, May 25: A 60-year-old man was shot and injured by masked gunmen who broke into a house at Gaurabdara village in the Panbari area of Chirang district in the wee hours today.

The incident site is around 200km northwest of Guwahati. A group of armed men barged into the house of Baneswar Ray, a farmer, around 2.30am and asked him to pay Rs 2 lakh at gunpoint.

When Ray said he could not pay the amount, the group asked him to call his son, Harimohan, a petty shopkeeper, who was sleeping in another room.

In the meantime, Harimohan heard voices in his father’s room and called out to Baneswar. The senior citizen told his son not to come out of his room. Harimohan and his wife raised an alarm and called out to neighbours for help. His mother and younger sister, who were in another room, also woke up and screamed for help.

“This triggered panic among the miscreants who first fired towards Harimohan’s room and then fired at me, injuring my left thigh,” Baneswar, who is currently being treated at Lower Assam Hospital and Research Centre in Bongaigaon, said. The doctors at the Bongaigaon hospital have referred Baneswar to Guwahati.

Around 60 Koch-Rajbongshi families live in Gaurabdara and the adjacent village of Bogidara. “I heard someone call my father’s name but could not make out what had happened. When I called out to know who it was, my father told me not come out. Sensing danger, we raised an alarm following which the miscreants fired two shots and ran away,” Harimohan said.

The president of the Chirang district unit of the All Bodo Student’s Union, Phanin Boro, condemned the incident and asked the administration to immediately apprehend the attackers. Boro urged people not to link the incident with the current scenario in BTAD till more facts emerge.

According to residents of Panbari, an armed gang has been carrying out attacks on non-Bodo houses for the past few months with an aim to create tension between the Bodo and non-Bodo communities.