| A deserted road at Anandabazar during the curfew in Baksa on Monday. Picture by UB Photos |
Kokrajhar/Bongaigaon, July 14: Three persons were arrested today in connection with the abduction and killing of four traders on July 11 evening at Labdanguri in Baksa district.
A senior police officer said the three were arrested on the basis of articles recovered from their homes for allegedly helping the militants abduct the four traders.
The trio, Promod Narzary, Mithinga Muchahary and Boronda Basumatary, all in their 20s, from Samthaibari village were arrested in connection with the crime on Monday.
Salbari sub-divisional police officer Rupam Phukan said, “We have arrested three persons in this connection and investigations are on to ascertain their roles.” He, however, did not divulge how they were arrested.
Confirming the arrests, Baksa deputy commissioner Vinod Seshan said no civilian, including politicians and mediapersons, had been allowed to enter the district as a curfew is in force.
“The situation in the district is under control and no fresh incident has been reported so far,” Seshan said.
The Baksa administration did not allow minister for cooperation and border areas Siddique Ahmed to visit Bogiribari, native place of the victims, and stopped him at Katajhar, 9km from Bogiribari, today at 11am.
However, principal secretary to chief minister M.G.V.K. Bhanu visited Baksa district and took stock of the situation. He announced that the government would extend ex gratia of Rs 8 lakh each to families of four victims.
Curfew was today relaxed from 4pm to 7pm in areas under Gobardhana police station and Anandabazar police outpost in Baksa district where indefinite curfew was clamped since the incident.
The four lemon traders, who were part of a seven-member group from Bogiribari in Barpeta district, had gone to the area to transact some business when they were taken hostage. The site of the incident is 20km from Bogiribari, nearly 150km from Guwahati.
Sources said the four were killed soon after they were abducted.
Chief minister TarunGogoi held discussions with a delegation of the All Bodoland Minority Students’ Union on the latest law and order situation in the BTAD.
The president of the All Assam Minority Students’ Union, Abdur Rahim Ahmed, suspected the hand of either the politicians involved in infighting in the ruling Congress or the Bodoland People’s Front ruling the Bodoland Territorial Council behind the Baksa incident.
He demanded the Centre’s intervention and said: “Since the state government has utterly failed to tackle violence in BTAD, the Centre should take up the task of maintaining law and order in the state and dissolve the government.”
The president of the BTAD Citizens’ Rights Forum, Zamser Ali, condemned the government for failing to ensure security for the innocent people in the BTAD and demanded the immediate resignation of the chief minister.
Assam Pradesh Youth Congress president Pranjit Chaudhury said: “We suspect a force behind the recurring violence in the BTAD which tries to malign the image of chief minister Tarun Gogoi by fanning the fire of sentiments of the victimised community only to draw political mileage.”
The president of the All Bodo Students’ Union, Pramod Boro, has appealed to the minority community to maintain peace. The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) today alleged that Assam police had failed to arrest those involved in the BTAD violence and instead, had forced villagers to perform the last rites of those who were killed in the attack.
“Instead of nabbing those involved in the crime, police and the Baksa district administration are physically harassing the family members of the deceased and local residents who are protesting the killings,” KMSS leader Dhaijya Konwar said in a statement.
The BTAD had witnessed largescale violence in 2012 in which 114 people were killed and over four lakh people displaced.
Similar violence occurred in May this year in Kokrajhar and Baksa districts in which 46 people were killed.