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Assam violence toll rises to 31

Posted on May 04 2014 | IANS

Guwahati, May 4 : The toll in the savage attacks by Bodo militants in Assam rose to 31 Sunday with tension prevailing and the curfew imposed in three districts of Kokrajhar, Baksa and Chirang continuing. Police intensified operations against the militants and killed three hardcore cadres Sunday, officials said.

Recovery of two more bodies and the death of a girl injured in the violence in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD), led to the rise in the death toll.

Police linked the deaths to the series of violence that has rocked Kokrajhar and Baksa districts of the BTAD since Thursday.

The girl, who was injured during the violence perpetrated by the anti-talk faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), breathed her last at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).

The Assam government Sunday said the situation in the violence-affected districts were returning to normal.

Curfew, which was imposed in three districts - Kokrajhar, Baksa and Chirang - continued Sunday, barring a few hours of relaxation during the day.

Tension, however, prevailed in most of the violence-affected areas in the two districts of Kokrajhar and Baksa.

However, there has been no incident in the last two days as central and state security personnel along with the army are working relentlessly to bring the situation back to normal.

Police have intensified operations against the NDFB faction across the state and killed three hardcore cadres of the outfit Sunday, Home Commissioner G.D. Tripathy said.

A senior police official said five cases have been registered in connection with the violence.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has rushed to Baksa for investigation so that cases can be smoothly handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The Assam government also moved a formal proposal to the centre Sunday regarding engagement of the NIA to probe the violence.

Police have also arranged for security of vehicles on the national highway and railway tracks, and police escort is being provided to convoys particularly during the night, officials said.

Meanwhile, people of Narayanguri and Khagrabari villages in Baksa Sunday refused to bury the bodies of the victims, saying it will be done only after Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi personally visits the area and assures them of security and adequate compensation.

They, however, agreed to perform the last rites after the state's border area development minister Siddeque Ahmed, who was at the site, assured them of looking into the demands.

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