Miscreants gunned down a jute farmer in Bhumka village under the Gossaigaon police station in violence-hit Kokrajhar district on Monday morning when he was busy working on his field. Police have arrested 12 persons and recovered a country-made revolver from their possession.
The miscreants first attacked the farmer with a machete and then shot him from point blank range. The victim, identified as Ali Hasan, 37, died on the spot.
The killing sparked off an angry protest by the residents of village who carried the body to the railway track at the nearby Chautara station and blocked train movement for nearly two hours. As the situation turned critical, police opened fire in the air and the district administration officials persuaded the protestors to lift the blockade.
This was the third incident of killing in the district since Saturday.
Following Monday’s incident, the death toll in violent clashes in Kokrajhar and neighbouring districts since July has gone up to 100. While three persons, two Muslims and a Bodo have been killed in the past three days, 97 were killed in violence in July and August.
Home Secretary G.D. Tripathi told The Hindu that an emergency security review meeting held at Dispur following the incident decided that apart from carrying on with counter-insurgency operations, the security forces and police would go all out against every single person in the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) possessing illicit country-made weapons.
He said that while counter-insurgency operations yielded positive results of recovery of sophisticated weapons and arrest of cadres of insurgent outfits possessing them, the Assam government viewed with serious concern circulation of country-made weapons in BTAD areas as was evident from the past three incidents. The availability of such weapons in the villages had potential to create law and order problem of a much bigger proportion.
Mr. Tripathi said that in the second incident in Kokrajhar district on Saturday miscreants attacked and killed Robin Boro at Betlangmari with a machete while police recovered an Italian-make pistol from the site. In the first incident that day, miscreants shot dead a farmer Ainal Haque with a country-made revolver at Bazugaon near Sapkata under the Gossaigaon police station.
Following Monday’s incident, the State government sounded an alert in all Bodo and Muslim-inhabited areas of lower Assam and also in northern Assam’s Darrang and Sonitpur district.