Guwahati suburb tense after 3 Muslims killed in police firing

By Anjuman Ara Begum,,

Guwahati: Rangia, a small city situated in the outskirt of the Guwahati city, is said to be tense following the death of three youths in police firing on October 23, 2010. The police reportedly opened fire in order to control group clash. Those died are Amzad Ali, Abdul Fazal (23) and Safiqul Haque (25).

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Besides, several others were injured in the police firing. The deceased and several others had gathered at Rongia to participate in the annual convention organized by Bodoland Minority Students Union (ABMSU) at Rangiya.

One of the delegates Hafiz Ahmed who spoke in the convention informed over telephone: ‘I reached Rangia Tiniali around 12 noon along with Prof. Dilip Bora who is the Reader of Gauhati University and chairman of Forum for Humanity and Harmony of Assam as well as convener of National Secular Forum and came to know that there was some clash between one Dinesh Kalita and six delegates of the ABMSU convention in the morning. Local people protected the delegates, chased away Dinesh Kalita and called emergency medical service 108. One Khanin Kalita of Nobo Suruj Puthi Bhoral helped the injured and tried to dismiss the clash. Later OC visited the place for investigation.”

The police firing, however, took place in the evening. “While on our way back with other participants, Dilip Bora met Ananta Deka, Rangia MLA along with an army officer who were waiting there to settle the tension over the morning clash. Army officer informed us that he got information that ABMSU members will start vandalism around 7 pm. We waited there till 7 pm, had roti in the nearby dhaba and left for Guwahati. On the way we got phone calls saying that there was police firing and several people were injured seriously,’ he said.

Following the deaths, tension continued to rise and local people staged demonstration to denounce the police firing and blocked the Rangia –Bhutan road.

State Revenue Minister Dr Bhumidhar Barman and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain visited the place and also DIG Pallav Bhattacharya, Kamrup SP Partha Sarathi Mahanta and Kamrup DC SK Roy visited the area and took stock of the situation. Compensation of Rs 3 lakh as interim ex gratia to the next of kin of each killed and Rs 50,000 to each injured in the police firing has been announced.

Police and paramilitary troopers were deployed in the area. Meanwhile Rangia MLA Ananta Deka (CPIM) had blamed it on the Bajrang Dal for the current situation in the area and the authorities too have taken sub divisional police officer along with OC of Rangia Police station to the police reserve.