Four more Hindi-speaking workers killed in Assam

Guwahati, May 16 (IANS) Separatists Wednesday gunned down four more Hindi-speaking workers, the latest in a string of attacks on migrants in Assam taking the toll to 10 in the past two days, officials said.

A police spokesman said heavily armed militants of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) attacked two villages in Golaghat district, about 280 km east of Assam’s main city of Guwahati.

Support TwoCircles

“Three Hindi-speaking people were killed in one village and another migrant worker was shot dead in a different area of the same district,” a senior police official said over telephone from Golaghat.

The attacks took place in the Disoi and Giladhari villages in Golaghat district.

Five daily wage earners were gunned down Tuesday night near Belbari village in Dibrugarh district, about 470 km from here.

“Four bodies of Hindi-speaking migrant workers were found last night itself from the area, while another dead body was found from near a paddy field early Wednesday. The death toll in the Belbari incident now stands at five,” V.K. Ramiseti, police chief of Dibrugarh, told IANS.

Another person was shot dead in village Borhat in the adjoining Sivasagar district and his son was critically wounded in Tuesday’s attack.

On Wednesday, the Assam government announced a massive military crackdown after the fresh attacks.

“We are taking some very strong anti-insurgency steps with security forces put on high alert across Assam with army, police and paramilitary troopers deployed in vulnerable areas,” the chief minister told IANS.

The government also sought 4,000 more paramilitary troopers from the central government for anti-insurgency operations and area domination.

Police blamed the ULFA for the fresh attacks on Hindi-speaking workers from Bihar who and had made Assam their home for decades and doing odd jobs as brick kiln workers, fishermen and daily wage earners.

Tuesday’s attack came after four people were killed Sunday in clashes between indigenous Assamese and tribal tea plantation workers in eastern Assam over blocking of a national highway to protest the death of a youth in an alleged staged shootout by the army.

Two people were killed Monday in a bomb blast carried out by the rebels at a market in Guwahati.

In January, the ULFA had killed about 60 migrant workers in a wave of attacks.