Army on Stand By, Curfew On in Baksa, Three Arrested

Army on Stand By, Curfew On in Baksa, Three Arrested

The army remained on stand by and indefinite curfew, clamped since the kidnap and killing of of four persons by suspected militants, remained in force for the third day in Assam's Baksa district as three persons were arrested in connection with the crime today.

"The curfew is continuing and no fresh incident has taken place so far. The situation is under control," Baksa Additional Deputy Commissioner Bhawani Prasad Sharma told PTI.

Baksa deputy commissioner Vinod Seshan said that three persons were arrested in connection with the kidnap of the four persons who hailed from neighbouring Barpeta district.

"The three were arrested for helping suspected NDFB(S) militants in the kidnapping of the four persons," he said.

All the four bodies were fished out of Hakuwa river and not Beki as was said earlier. One of the bodies bore a bullet mark, while the others had cut marks, Sharma said adding the post mortem was conducted today.

The killed included two teenaged boys, who were among seven people, reportedly lemon traders from Barpeta district, who had gone to Labdungri market in Baksa. They were kidnapped by suspected NDFB(S) militants and did not return.

He said the strength of police, CRPF and para-military forces deployed in Salbari sub-division and Anand Bazar area have been increased and a massive manhunt has been launched to nab the culprits behind the Friday night kidnap of the four persons and their subsequent killing.

The curfew is relaxed for two hours in the evening daily for 'iftaar' by the Muslim community as this is the month of 'Ramzaan', he said.

Army has been on stand-by since Saturday and conducted area dominance exercise yesterday after three bodies were fished out. The first one was recovered on Saturday.

Yesterday, nine people were arrested for attacking and critically injuring a police official while taking the bodies for postmortem.

In another incident the police had to fire in the air at Anand Bazar area to disperse a mob which ignored the curfew to protest against the kidnap.

Assam government has already announced an ex-gratia of Rs 8 lakh for the families of the each of those killed.

Meanwhile, during the day, a high-level security meeting was held in Barpeta to discuss the current situation in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts, mainly Baksa.

"We hold a meeting of the Unified Command, comprising Assam Police, Army and para-military forces. We discussed the current incident in Baksa and how we can prevent such cases in future," Assam Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Ajit Prasad Rout said.

The administration would deploy additional forces in Baksa and other districts of BTAD if necessary, he added.

Meanwhile, the All BTC Minority Student Union (ABMSU) today blocked the Indo-Bhutan border at Chiknibari in Baksa district protesting against the kidnap and murder.

The organisation submitted memorandum to the Governor and the Chief Minister of Assam demanding immediate and permanent solution of the repeated violence in BTAD. They also demanded immediate seizure of illegal arms in BTAD and provide proper security to life and property.

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