The Telegraph
Sunday , May 4 , 2014
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Govt steps in to stop exodus

Dhubri, May 3: Government officials have started efforts to convince villagers in BTAD not to leave their homes and assured them of adequate security.

Sub-divisional police officer of Gossaigaon, Ankur Jain, said today that top officials of Kokrajhar district conducted meetings with village heads in the affected areas, asking them not to leave their homes.

The government is trying its best to ensure there is no repeat of the 2012 riots that left over 100 people dead and displaced nearly four lakh others in Kokrajhar and Dhubri districts. The Kokrajhar district administration said there has been positive response to their request to villagers not to leave their homes.

“A special task force of Assam police has been deployed in Balapara part-I village in Kokrajhar district, which is assisting the BSF picket deployed in Balapara part-II village,” Jain said. He said there was no communal tension in the area and no report of any people leaving the area. He, however, said there was the possibility of exodus of people to Dhubri district owing to the prevailing situation in the BTAD.

People are still in a state of panic and have been moving towards safer areas in neighbouring Dhubri district.

According to reports, around 1,200 families from villages like Baladoba part-I, Baladoba part-II, Baladoba part-III, Baraibari, Harbhanga, Gossgaigaon-Harbhanga and Asharikandi in Kokrajhar have already arrived in Dawpara, Rangapani, Ghagmari, Bhalakoba villages under Sapatgram police station in Dhubri district.

Ajgar Ali, 37, from Harbhanga, said though security forces were patrolling the villages, they still could not sleep at night. “That is why we have moved to Rangapani to our relative’s house. If the killing in the BTAD stops, we will return,” he said.

“I witnessed the firing on the night of May 1 and I am still at a loss for words. The incident has created doubt in our minds regarding the presence of a government,” Nasiron Bibi, 47, of Balapara part-III, said.

Tazmul Haq, 27, of Hardhanga, alleged the statement made by MLA Pramila Rani Brahma had led to the killings and arson.

In a related development, effigies of BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and Brahma were burnt by the activists of the Dhubri district unit of the All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (AAMSU) at Chagolia inter-state checkgate and Gauripur today in protest against the violence in the BTAD.

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