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Assam violence: Death toll rises to 21,shoot-at-sight order issued

Guwahati, July 24 (): Shoot-at-sight order  in the interior areas of Kokrajhar district of Assam was issued after fresh incidents of arson and violence were reported on Monday.

An indefinite curfew was imposed as the death toll in the ethnic violence in interior areas of the district went up to twenty one.  Police recovered four bodies during the day from Kokrajhar district on Monday.

Out of the twenty- one deaths reported, Kokrajhar accounted seventeen whereas four persons died in the neighbouring Chirang district, where the conflict between the minority immigrants and Bodo tribals extended.

Police said fresh violence was reported yesterday from Fakiragram, Serfanguri, Narabari Gossaigaon, Dotoma, Mokrajan and Tulsibari areas where the trouble makers set fire and caused damage to houses. Villagers fled the area in panic after the miscreants set fire to their houses.

Sources said a total of eighteen companies of paramilitary forces have been put to service in the lower Assam in order to control the situation. Nearly 50,000 villagers were left homeless and were taking shelter in various relief camps.

40,000 victims were made to shelter in 35 relief camps run by government while 10,000 were made to shelter in various schools and offices in Chirang due to lack of official relief camp, said official sources.

Two senior ministers Rockybul Hussain and Nazrul Islam, who visited the disturbed areas arranged for a secret meeting with officials of the affected districts. While talking to reporters, they requested the people to maintain peace and harmony and also promised to take strict action against the people who created communal disharmony in the area.

“On behalf of the government and the Bodoland Tribal Autonomous Districts (BTAD) all necessary and possible steps will be taken to provide security to the people of different communities, ultimately there is no need to worry,” said Mr Hussain.

Train services have been badly affected in Lower Assam, due to the ongoing violence in BTAD area, said the Railways.