Fresh violence rocked the Kokrajhar region of the North-East Indian state of Assam Monday night as armed men killed three and injured two others in the second similar act in two days. Armed gunmen stormed the Chirang and Kokrajhar districts and opened fire, killing the three victims.
Assam has endured violent ethnic clashes over the past three weeks between the Bodo tribal groups and the migrant Muslim groups in the region.
"The Bodo miscreants indiscriminately fired in Ranibuli village under Kokrajhar police station late last night killing three persons and seriously injuring two others," said the Assam IGP (Law and Order) LR Bishnoi, PTI reported.
The incident happened at 11 p.m. local time and the police forces arrived after the miscreants fled the place. The police have reportedly arrested a person in connection with the shooting in Chirang, reported PTI.
The official death toll in the clashes that started in July has mounted to 64. More than 4,00,000 people were forced to flee their homes following the shootings.
The 10-day long calm in the troubled area was broken Sunday when four bodies were recovered from Chirang and Kokrajhar with gunshot wounds.
Indefinite curfew continues in Chirang district, where incidents of arson were reported last week, while a curfew has been clamped in Kokrajhar district again following fresh violence. The army continued the flag march in the districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri, which are at the center of the clashes between the Bodo tribals and the minority community.
Fresh violence erupted a day after the Central Government hinted at the role of external forces in the Assam riots and said that it would take all measures to nab the culprits.
The ethnic clashes in Assam between the local Bodo tribal groups and the Muslims have roots in complex insurgency and migration issues that have been boiling for years in the region. Assam, which shares its border with the neighboring Muslim majority country Bangladesh, has seen a lot of illegal migration from Bangladesh.
The state has millions of Bangladeshi illegal migrants, allegedly supported and sheltered by political parties which see them as easy "votebanks". The Bodo extremist groups have questioned the rising influence of the migrants in the state while the governments, both in the state and at the center, haven't taken any concrete measures to address and quell the differences between the communities.
The current violence has hit both the Bodos and the Muslims hard, and it is the innocents who bear the brunt of the clashes between the extremists in both the communities, as several thousands, including children and the aged, have to take shelter in make-shift relief camps in most pathetic conditions.