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Murder protests echo in House
Priya not an informer: Gogoi

- Solidarity power

Guwahati/Kokrajhar, Aug. 25: The execution of 16-year-old school student Priya Basumatary by NDFB (S) militants that has been drawing widespread condemnation and triggering street protests over the last few days, today also rocked the Assam Assembly.

In the House, Opposition members caused an uproar over the incident as the budget session resumed today after a 11-day recess.

Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF) MLA Pramila Rani Brahma raised the issue as soon as Question Hour began this morning. She also accused the state government of failing to protect lives of innocent people.

Priya was shot from point-blank range by NDFB (S) cadres at Dwimuguri village in Chirang district on August 20. The militants compelled villagers to gather at a place and then shot her dead in front of them. They accused the girl of being a police informer. The militants also assaulted her parents.

Brahma today sought a clarification from the state government whether the victim was used as an informer.

AGP MLAs Keshab Mahanta and Phani Bhusan Choudhury demanded a discussion in the House on the incident and the violence along the Assam-Nagaland border.

Ruling party MLA Himanta Biswa Sarma, who led the oust-Gogoi campaign within the Congress Legislature Party, also sought a discussion and said the state government should not avoid discussion as it would set a bad precedent.

Though the state government said chief minister Tarun Gogoi would give a statement on the two incidents, Opposition MLAs insisted on a discussion.

Speaker Pranab Gogoi then advised them to raise the matter under an appropriate device for discussion tomorrow.

Addressing a press conference, BJP Legislature Party leader Jadav Deka demanded imposition of Presidents’ rule in the state citing Priya’s killing and violence along the Assam-Nagaland border.

“There is no law and order in the state. The execution of Priya has shown that state government’s writ no more runs in those areas as insurgents run a parallel government,” Deka said.

Outside the Assembly, the chief minister said Priya was not a police informer and was totally innocent. He said ongoing operations against the NDFB (S) would be further intensified in order to apprehend those involved in her murder.

Gogoi said he would order an inquiry into allegations of delay by police in recovering the body. Police headquarters have claimed that the body was recovered within 24 hours.Gogoi also accused the BJP of politicising the Assam-Nagaland border issue.

Today a rally was taken out from Priya’s school Runikhata Boro Girls’ High School in Chirang district. Apart from her schoolmates, people from all walks of life participated in the rally carrying placards, festoons and banners demanding justice and seeking an end to extortion, kidnappings and killings.

BTC deputy chief Kampa Borgoyary, while participating in the rally at Runikhata, urged all to shun the path of violence. He appealed for release of Bhutanese nationals who were abducted from Pathabari village near Kokrajhar earlier this month. Former transport minister Chandan Brahma, BTC Speaker Paniram Brahma and BTC members took part in the rally.

The All Bodo Students’ Union (Absu) organised a silent sit-in at Kajalgaon, the district headquarters of Chirang, from 9am to 3pm today in protest against the execution.