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Three Killed, Over Six Injured in Police Firing in Golaghat

Three persons were killed and six injured in police firing in this Assam town today when a mob tried to set ablaze the deputy commissioner's office and a police station and targetted a hospital in continuing violence along the state's border with Nagaland, after which indefinite curfew was clamped in the areas and Army called out.

Police first fired tear gas shells to control the mob of over 1000 people at Erengapara Chariali here marching to the DC's office and police station to set them on fire. When the protesters began pelting stones at the police while reaching within 300 metres of the two buildings, the police opened fire.

Golaghat ADC Krishna Baruah said three persons were killed and over 20 injured in the firing.

According to Golaghat SP Siladitya Chetia, police tried to halt the protesters according to prescribed rules but had to perform its duty of controlling the situation when they remained defiant.

"Police had to take action as the mob was targeting public service and public utility buildings and Kushal Konwar Civil Hospital in the town," he told reporters.

"Also civilians were injured in the stone pelting by the protesters warranting the firing," he said.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident.

The district administration has imposed curfew in the town and adjacent Rongajan.

The incident occurred when local TV news channels were telecasting live the situation in the area. Some policemen received minor injuries in the stone throwing, officials said, adding the injured were admitted to hospital.

Chetia told PTI that Army help has been sought to control the situation from deteriorating further.

"The Army personnel will conduct a flag march in Golaghat town as soon as they arrive," he said.

The ongoing series of incidents are a fallout of the killing of nine persons on August 12 at Uriamghat in the district in firing by suspected miscreants from neighbouring Nagaland. 

Over 200 houses were set ablaze rendering 10,000 people homeless.

Chief Minister Gogoi, in a statement, said his government would institute a judicial inquiry by a retired judge of the high court into the incident of police firing.

"We would leave no stone unturned to find out the truth behind the firing incident," he said.

Gogoi reviewed the law-and-order situation in Golaghat district with senior civil and police officials in Guwahati.

The Assam-Nagaland border, he said, was a disputed subject and the area was controlled by the Centre with the help of CRPF, a 'neutral' force which 'failed' to provide security to the people and properties there.

He condemned yesterday's police action against protesters and said the government will order an inquiry by Additional Chief Secretary Subhash Chandra Das into the incident.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, however, dismissed as "baseless" Gogoi's allegation that CRPF was not intervening in the Assam-Nagaland border dispute, saying the central forces are at the disposal of the state.

Meanwhile, protests erupted across the district with protesters blocking NH-37 in the district today protesting yesterday's police action at Rangajan when 22 civilians were injured.

The Union Home Ministry submitted a report to the Prime Minister's Office on the ongoing violence along the Assam- Nagaland border after Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought details on it.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh also telephoned Gogoi and Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang and asked them to defuse tension along the borders of the two states at the earliest.

Gogoi sought additional companies of paramilitary forces to restore peace and normalcy in the affected areas.

Singh assured him that the Centre would do the needful to restore peace in the trouble-torn areas.

The BJP said it would urge Singh to post Assam Rifles as the 'neutral force' by replacing CRPF, which failed to prevent violence along the inter-state border.

Opposition Asom Gana Parishad called a 12-hour Assam bandh tomorrow in protest against the police brutality.

Addressing a press conference, AGP President Atul ora said the state government had completely failed to give protection to its residents and instead used the police to kill Assamese people.

Seeking immediate intervention, AGP today sent letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Bora said.

Essential services have been exempted from the bandh's purview, Bora said.

Union Minister of state for Sports and Youth Affairs Sarbananda Sonowal today condemned the act of police atrocity on innocent civilians on Assam-Nagaland border.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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