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Students protest killings

- Minority organisation stages two-hour sit-in

Kokrajhar/Baksa, July 15: The Kokrajhar district committee of the All BTC Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU) staged a two-hour sit-in today in protest against the kidnapping and killing of four persons at Labdanguri in Baksa district on Friday.

Curfew was relaxed for 12 hours today from 8am in areas under Gobardhana police station and Anandabazar police outpost in Baksa district where indefinite curfew had been clamped since the incident.

“The situation is under control with no fresh incident since Friday,” said a senior district official. In Kokrajhar, nearly a hundred people carrying placards and festoons protested from 11am to 1pm shouting anti-government and anti-BTC administration slogans. They demanded justice and protection of lives and property of the people.

A memorandum was submitted to Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi through the Kokrajhar deputy commissioner’s office.

The president of Kokrajhar district committee of ABMSU, Maynuddin Ali, rued that the state government has not taken any initiative or measures to ensure safety and security of innocent people after so many killings in the BTAD region.

He alleged that because of security loopholes, militants and criminals were taking advantage and carrying out subversive activities to create panic in the BTAD region.

The students’ union demanded that the government provide ex gratia to the victims’ families soon.

It also suspected the hand of politicians involved in infighting in the ruling Congress to be behind the violence and killings in BTAD.

Assam minister for co-operation and border areas Siddique Ahmed yesterday blamed chief minister Tarun Gogoi for the fresh turmoil in the BTAD.

The minister was stopped by the Baksa district administration from entering the district on law and order grounds.

Health and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today expressed surprise as to why the administration did not allow Ahmed to visit the troubled Baksa district yesterday.

“Such restriction on a minister is unfortunate,” Sarma told a few reporters at Azara this afternoon.

Ahmed yesterday blamed Gogoi for fresh turmoil in the BTAD.

Ali said the students’ union would intensify its agitation in protest against the Tarun Gogoi government if it failed to provide security to the people and killings are not stopped.

“We will be compelled to organise agitation programmes like rail blockades, road blockades, dharnas and bandhs.”

He also said the victims of 2012 riot in the BTAD have not received full compensation from the government.

A 10-member team of the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU), led by its vice-president Ainuddin Ahmed, today visited Bogoriguri at 9am, just one hour after the curfew was relaxed till 8 this evening.

The distance between Bogoriguri to Labdanguri in Baksa, the site of the incident, is 5km.

The students’ team, during its visit to Bogoriguri, found only a few security personnel posted on either side of a bridge on Beki river, around 5km from Bogoriguri.

People of the minority community at Bogoriguri had conveyed a message through the students’ team that except minister for cooperation and border areas Siddique Ahmed, no other minister or political leader would be allowed in Bogoriguri.

There are nearly 15,000 minorities at Bogoriguri, according to AAMSU leaders.

The AAMSU, which addressed a news conference at Kalgachia in Barpeta district, alleged that bodies of four traders were disposed of forcefully by the police without any religious rites.

The students’ union demanded President’s rule in the state.

The AAMSU will burn effigies of Gogoi and DGP Khagen Sarma in all district headquarters of the state tomorrow, leaders said.