Violence not related to the clashes in Kokrajhar and neighbouring districts: Home Secretary

The Army was deployed in Dhubri and Gauripur towns of Lower Assam’s Dhubri district on Friday, following stray incidents of stabbing and physical assault by miscreants. Three persons were injured prior to and after the immersion of Durga idols.

The Army was called out to prevent the violence fromtaking a communal turn. In Dhubri, curfew was also clamped in the wake of the violence.

Two of the three injured persons have been identified as Kamal Ghosh, a decorator of a Durga puja pandal, and Karimuddin Sheikh, a rickshaw puller.

Trouble began on Tuesday after miscreants stabbed Mr. Ghosh in Dhubri. People took out a procession in protest on Wednesday and prevented the puja committee of the police reserve from immersing their Durga idol till the culprits behind the attack were punished.

Police resorted to firing in the air and lathi charge to disperse the crowd and the administration imposed curfew to prevent the escalation of violence.

Immersion peaceful

Curfew was relaxed in Dhubri on Thursday and the immersion of idols passed off peacefully while some miscreants stabbed and injured Karimuddin Sheikh, and another group attacked and injured another person.

Following the incidents curfew was re-imposed at 9 p.m. and the Army called to carry out a flag march in the town. However, curfew was relaxed from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m. on Friday. No untoward incident was reported during this time.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the Army had been deployed as a preventive measure in Dhubri.

Home Secretary G.D. Tripathi said one Army column each had been deployed in Dhubri and Gauripur. Mr. Tripathi said keeping in mind the communal sensitivities of Dhubri, the administration had to act quickly.

Mr. Tripathi, however, said the stray incidents were not related to the clashes in Kokrajhar and neighbouring districts.

Faizabad SP suspended

Special Correspondent writes from Lucknow:

Twenty-six persons have been arrested for rioting and arson, even as Faizabad district is limping back to normality after two days of communal violence which claimed two lives and left many injured. Violence had broken out on Wednesday after a dispute between two communities over the route to be taken for a procession of idols of Durga on the occasion of Vijayadashami.

No incident of rioting was reported on Friday. The Kotwali and Cantonment police station areas continued to remain under curfew, although Muslims were allowed to offer Friday prayers in local mosques.

Late on Thursday night the Uttar Pradesh government suspended Superintendent of Police (City) of Faizabad Ramji Singh Yadav, Additional District Magistrate Srikant Mishra, City Magistrate Tilakdhari Yadav and Station House Officer of Kotwali police station Bhullan Yadav for dereliction of duty.

Inspector-General (Law and Order) B.P. Singh told journalists that the forces deployed in the district had not been withdrawn.