AN indefinite curfew was clamped and the Army requisitioned in at least two localities under Goalpara police station in western Assam on Monday after two persons were killed when the police had to open fire to disperse a mob that had attacked the district SP and deputy commissioner over the death of a person. With one person killed in the mob attack,the total number of deaths went up to four.
Goalpara deputy commissioner in-charge Utpal Sarma said a crowd had gathered at Moilapathar following recovery of the body of one Taher Ali. The crowd turned violent and started attacking the police and the magistrates on duty,in the process injuring eight police personnel,including SP Shyamal Krishna Saikia. As the mob swelled and became furious,the police had no option but to open fire,in which two persons were killed. We have imposed an indefinite curfew and also called out the Army, Sarma told The Indian Express over the telephone.
Goalpara had witnessed clashes between Rabha tribals and migrant Muslims in February over holding of panchayat elections,with the Rabha groups demanding holding of autonomous council elections instead. Over 4,400 people from both communities are still lodged in 14 relief camps after they were rendered homeless in the February clashes.
At least 20 persons were killed,13 of them in police firing and seven in clashes then.
Giving details,Sarma said while Taher Ali,a resident of Moilapathar,went missing while going out to fetch his cows from the Rakshashini reserved forest on Sunday,his body was dug out from a pit inside the forest early on Monday morning. While a magistrate conducted inquest of the body,the villagers turned violent and prevented him from shifting the body to Goalpara for post-mortem examination. By the time the DC and SP reached the spot the crowd had swelled,started pelting stones and attacked the officials,injuring at least seven policemen including the SP.