Five persons were killed in fresh violence in lower Assam’s Chirang district on Saturday evening, taking the death toll to 85 since ethnic trouble erupted in the State last month.

The five were stabbed to death at Chaoudharipara in a town called Bijni in Chirang, Assam IGP (Law and Order) L.R. Bishnoi told PTI. Additional security forces were rushed to the spot and the area sealed, he said.

The attacks came on a day when Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashoka urged professionals and students from the northeast, who had fled the southern State, to return and assured protection and job guarantee. Mr. Ashoka, on a three day tour of the northeast, said: “There has been no major incident of violence in Karnataka. There have only been a few verbal threats. Today I met many students and professionals here who have fled from Bangalore. I assured them of all protection.”

Asked about their reaction, Mr. Ashoka said, “I am sure they will return. We are one nation and all of us are Indians.”

He met Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and briefed him about the steps taken by his government. Mr. Ashoka said he was told that the Assam government was in touch with the railways and special train services would be arranged from Guwahati September 1 onwards to take back those who had fled Karnataka during the recent exodus.