Five people were killed in fresh violence in Assam, taking the death toll from the riots in recent weeks to over 85.
According to police officials, five people – believed to be Muslims – who were returning from the refugee camps to their homes in Bodo-inhabited areas were stabbed to death at 5.30 pm on Saturday in Chirang district.
Following the fresh violence, an indefinite curfew has been imposed in Chirang district. Additional security forces were rushed to the spot and the area sealed, Assam IGP (Law and Order) L R Bishnoi said.
Over five lakh people have been rendered homeless in the violence between Bodo tribal groups and Muslims in the lower ranges of Assam, including Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts.
The latest attacks came on a day when Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka urged professionals and students from the north-east, who had fled the southern State, to return and assured them protection and job guarantee.
Ashoka, who is on a three-day tour of the north-east, said: “There has been no major incident of violence in Karnataka. There have only been a few verbal threats. I met many students and professionals who have fled from Bangalore. I assured them of all protection,” he said.
Asked about their reaction, Ashoka said, “I am sure they will return. We are one nation and all of us are Indians.”
Ashoka, who met Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and briefed him about the steps taken by his government, said he was told that the state government was in touch with the railways and special train services arranged from Guwahati from Septemeber 1 to take back those who had fled.
There are around 3.5 lakh northeast people in Karnataka, of whom 2.5 lakh resided in Bangalore.
According to Karnataka government figures, a total of 34,627 persons left for their home states during the recent exodus.
With inputs from PTI