Two days after the death of a Hindi-speaking cattle rearer in a group clash in Assam’s Dibrugarh district, a search has been launched to nab the accused, allegedly belonging to a students’ body of a tribal community, police said on Monday.
District police and administrative officials said the attack on the cattle-rearing community in a remote sandbar in Dibrugarh was over the refusal to pay donation to members of a local committee of adjoining Dhemaji district of the Takam Mising Porin Kebang (TMPK), the students’ body of the Mising tribe, to celebrate the group’s foundation day.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dibrugarh SP Gautam Borah said, “A hunt is on to nab the accused, most of whom have fled to other districts. The alleged group had submitted a letter, requesting donation. The villagers here claimed to have detained two boys of the group which had come to serve the letter. On October 19, members of the group arrived in large numbers and attacked the villagers and burnt their houses. One person Murali Yadav, aged around 55, succumbed to injuries. Another person was also injured in the attack and is undergoing treatment.”
Dibrugarh DC Pallav Gopal Jha told The Indian Express, “The situation is peaceful as of now. We are hopeful of making arrests soon and planning for a compensation. A demand for money is what started the clash. The villagers have settled in the sandbar for long now — around 60-70 years — and they are the major supplier of milk in the upper Assam region.”
All Assam Bhojpuri Parishad president Kailash Gupta told The Indian Express, “These are poor people who had demanded nearly Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 as donation. How could they give? Since the villagers refused to pay, on October 19 afternoon, a group of boys arrived and threw petrol and burnt their houses.”
“We have placed a demand of Rs 10 lakh compensation and a job for the kin of the deceased. Also, there should be a police outpost near the village — it is very remote. You have to cross the river and then walk for a long time to reach it,” he added.
TMPK president Naresh Kumbang said, “We are looking into the allegations to assess what is true and what is false. We have also called for a meeting today.”