x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Assam murders spark fears of more ethnic violence

A Muslim family were shot dead while sleeping in their hut on Friday night in the village of Joraibari in Kokrajhar district, police said yesterday.

The family members were shot dead while sleeping in their hut on Friday night in the village of Joraibari in Kokrajhar district, police said yesterday. Kokrajhar was the centre of ethnic riots between the indigenous Bodo people and Muslims in late Jul. At least 100 were killed and nearly 400,000 people were displaced during the disturbance, which lasted for weeks.

Tensions have simmered in the region since a man was stabbed and three others injured during a Hindu festival on October 23.

The Bodos have been embroiled in territorial disputes for years with Muslims, who they accuse of being illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

"The situation is tense," Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters. "We're trying our best to control the situation with a very firm hand."

Police yesterday arrested Mono Kumar Brahma, executive member of the Bodoland Territorial Council, which runs the administration in the Bodoland area. The arrest was made from his residence in Kokrajhar, after illegal arms and ammunition were found in his possession.

sbhattacharya@thenational.ae

With additional reporting by the Associated Press and IANS