Separatist demands put Assam on edge
Centre's decision encourages split theories
As the demand for separate states on the lines of Telangana by several groups was stepped up in Assam on Friday, a rubber estate and house of a Congress MP, who represents the Autonomous Hill district constituency, were set ablaze, while four persons were injured in a police firing.
The Army staged a flag march in the violence-hit Karbi Anglong district on Friday afternoon after being called in by the civil administration, official sources said.
Train services across the state were affected by a 12-hour rail blockade called by different Bodo organisations to demand a separate Bodoland.
Protesters removed six kilometres of railway tracks in the Diphu-Lumding section, but was later restored though train services were yet to resume.
The MP Biren Singh Engti’s rubber estate and house, about seven kilometre from Diphu, was set on fire by miscreants who also felled trees, the sources said.
There were no casualties since there was nobody in the house of the Congress MP at the time.
The police opened fire in the district to disperse a mob in which four persons were injured with the condition of two stated to be critical, the sources said.
At Donkamakom under Hamrem sub-division a mob ransacked a police outpost and attacked policemen demanding the release of seven arrested youths, they said.
A post office, an office of the handloom and textile department at Dolamara and a Public-Health Engineering Department office in Howraghat were attacked, the sources said. Also set ablaze was a bus of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council and a Public Works Department inspection bungalow in the Umlalfera area.
Assam IGP (Law and Order) S N Singh who held a meeting at Diphu to take stock of the prevailing situation, told reporters that five additional companies of security forces were expected to arrive soon while two companies have been deployed.
Singh said preventive arrests were being made, the president of Karbi Students' Association Laiseng Engleng being one, to bring the situation under control and to avoid further violence. Seven others were arrested from Dokmoka area taking the total number of arrests to 18 since the outbreak of violence in the hill district.
Parliamentary Secretary (Home) Etuwa Munda rushed to the district with an appeal to the people to maintain peace and not to damage government property.
The All Bodo Student's Union along with National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Progressive), All Bodo Womens' Federation, Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Bodo Peoples' Progressive Front and others had sat on railway tracks at the Kokrajhar railway station early on Friday morning with no train either entering or leaving.