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Assam on the boil as protests erupt across state

Guwahati, Dec 24, 2014, DHNS: 0:38 IST
Scores of protests were on Wednesday taken out against the killing of 68 persons in an NDFB assault and alleged police firing in Assam. A tribal woman with her child and bow and arrows arrives at a make shift relief center in a local school after her village was attacked by an indigenous separatist group called the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, in Shamukjuli village in Sonitpur district of Indian eastern state of Assam. AP image
Scores of protests were on Wednesday taken out against the killing of 68 persons in an NDFB assault and alleged police firing in Assam.

Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Anjan Dutta described the attack as a “dastardly act”. He said two delegations would visit the affected villages in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts.

The state unit of CPM and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti took out rallies to protest the killings. The KMSS members burnt an effigy of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in front of the state Secretariat here while accusing him of failing to protect the people.

The All Assam Students Union staged a mute protest covering their mouths in black strap.
The Amnesty International, in a statement, condemned the attack and urged the authorities to step up security for civilians and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“The attack is highly condemnable and shows contempt for human lives. It is the fundamental right of every person to live free from violence and discrimination,” the international human rights body said.

Asian Centre for Human Rightsdenounced the killing as “crimes against humanity as defined under Rome Statute of International Criminal Court”.

ACHR also called upon the state government and the Centre to ensure registration of FIRs, thorough investigation into the incident.

Sonia calls Assam CM

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday called Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to enquire about the prevailing situation in the state in the wake of killing of 65 people by NDFB(S) militants.

Gandhi called up Gogoi in the afternoon and condemned the dastardly killing of innocent people by the militants, CMO sources told PTI.

The chief minister apprised Gandhi of the prevailing situation and steps initiated to tackle it, the sources said. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is likely to visit the state in the wake of the attacks though his itinerary was yet to be finalised, the sources added.

Gogoi flays chief secretary

Assam Chief Secretary Jitesh Khosla was at the centre of a controversy for continuing his family trip and enjoying an elephant ride at Kaziranga National Park on Wednesday in the aftermath of massacre of tribals by Bodo militants prompting criticism from Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

Local TV channels have been reporting Khosla’s trip along with visuals of an elephant ride with his family in the morning at the National Park, about 200 km from here.

“That is not good on the chief secretary’s part. He should have immediately come back,” Gogoi said at a press conference here.

The Congress government in Assam is already under attack over the fresh violence with Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal accusing it of being irresponsible and failing to protect the the common people of the state.

“It is a total failure on the part of the state government,” he told NDTV. Sonowal said the state government should take all possible action.

AYP calls 10-hour bandh

Asom Yuba Parishad (AYP), the youth wing of opposition AGP, today called a 10-hour Assam bandh on December 26 against the serial attacks on Adivasis by NDFB(S) terrorists. AYP in a release blamed the Congress government in the state and the BJP government at the Centre for failing to provide security to common people. To protest against terrorism and demand security for people, AYP will observe a 10-hour Assam bandh on December 26, it said.

The essential services are, however, exempted from the purview of this agitation, AYP said.

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