Probe into Assam killings if needed, assures Gogoi

Guwahati, Dec 14 : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Saturday said a judicial probe will be ordered, if necessary, into the alleged staged shootout in Chirang district where residents said police and army personnel killed two students claiming they were Bodo insurgents.

"It is a matter of concern and we have taken the matter seriously. If the incident is proved to be a fake encounter as alleged by the locals, we are going to take necessary action. If needed, we are also going to institute a judicial probe into the incident," Gogoi said.

Although Gogoi has already asked state Additional Chief Secretary V.B. Pyarelal to carry out an inquiry and submit the report within 30 days and also instructed Chief Secretary Jitesh Khosla to initiate action against anyone found guilty, residents have demanded a judicial probe or an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The incident took place Wednesday at Raijungbari village in Runikhata, about 200 km from Assam's main city Guwahati.

Police and army personnel killed two youths and injured another. They said the two youths were members of the anti-talk faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) led by I.K. Songbijit.

Police said the injured youth was a linkman of the outfit.

Residents, however, said the slain youths - Jiri Narzary and Pranjit Narzary - were students of Class 7 and 10 while the injured Nikedin Narzary is a student of Class 6 in a local school.

Residents later attacked the Runikhata police station and also set fire to some motorcycles.

Police resorted to a baton charge and fired blank rounds to disperse the crowd. The Chirang deputy commissioner also ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.

However, the area is still tense as residents held a protest rally Friday demanding a high-level probe into the incident.

Meanwhile, Gogoi criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party and regional party Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) who pulled up the ruling Congress over the incident.

"The law and order situation in Assam is better now than it was during the tenure of the AGP government in the state or when the BJP-led NDA was in power at the centre," Gogoi said.

--IANS (Posted on 14-12-2013)

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