More police firing in Assam, one killed

Guwahati, April 30 (IANS) In Assam’s second incident of police firing in as many days, one person was killed and at least 10 injured in Sonitpur district Tuesday. The fresh trouble broke out even as curfew continued in Goalpara district where the death toll from Monday’s police firing rose to four with the discovery of two more bodies.

As tension continued in Rakshasini area of Goalpara district, where a mob clashed with police and security forces Monday over the recovery of a body, trouble erupted Tuesday morning near a power station of the Power Grid Corporation India Limited (PGCIL) at Baghmari near Tezpur in Sonitpur.

According to state Home Secretary G.D. Tripathy, the tension started after officials of the power station wanted to close a road through the campus being used by people from neighbouring villages.

“Hundreds of people came out to the streets to oppose the move of the power station officials. As police tried to contain the situation, people charged at the police.

“After the initial attempt to control the situation with lathi charge and firing of rubber bullets failed, police fired bullets, leading to the death of one and injuries to over 10 others,” Tripathy told IANS.

“There were two roads through the campus of the power station, one of which had been closed a few days back. However, after providing an alternate road, officials tried to close this second road today. This move infuriated the locals for some reason and led to the untoward incident today,” he said.

The situation, he added, was being monitored closely and was under control now.

In Goalpara, the death toll increased to four with police recovering two more bodies from the violence-hit areas late Monday, police said.

Of the four, two were killed in police firing two are suspected to have been killed by the crowds.

Of the two bodies recovered late Monday, one was hacked and the other was charred, Tripathy said.

“We recovered their bodies late Monday and it is believed that the agitated mob attacked these two people and killed them during the violence.”

“We have decided not to lift the curfew as tension is simmering in the area. We do not want to take a risk and want to ensure that the violence do not take any communal colour,” he said.

The home secretary said additional forces had been sent to the violence affected areas of Goalpara district Monday to help police in controlling the situation.

Irate crowds had begun to gather in the area after the recovery of the body of Taher Ali, who had been missing since Sunday evening.

“People from the area people attacked policemen who reached the spot to recover the body, which was buried. Hundreds of locals pelted stones at police and damaged their vehicles,” a police official had said Monday.

To disperse the crowd, police resorted to firing that led to the death of two people on the spot and injury to others, he said.

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