Thousands of protestors have descended on railway tracks in Assam, bringing train services in the state to a grinding halt. The protestors are reportedly , demanding the release of those arrested for killing 4 ex-militants.
Earlier a huge mob has stopped the Delhi-Guwahati Rajdhani Express, and now more train services have been affected.
Reports said that the train which is reportedly packed with passengers, was stopped by a huge mob near the restive Kokrajhar district where rioting has claimed 18 lives, and caused tens of thousands to flee. The train had initially left Guwahati at 7.30am.
Security forces have been rushed to the area in an effort to quell the situation.
Tens of thousands of villagers in the state have fled their homes in fear of rioting.
The Assam government has sent in troops to quell the clashes, and opened at least a half-dozen shelters for some 30,000 people, mostly women and children, who have fled their villages in search of protection.
An additional 10 people have gone missing since the clashes over land rights erupted in western Kokrajhar district between the region’s ethnic Bodo community and Muslim settlers, Assam’s police chief JN Choudhury said.
The violence has spread to two neighboring districts. Police have discovered bodies hacked by machetes and left in the jungle or along roadsides or river banks.
Animosity and accusations of land-stealing have long simmered between Bodos and the thousands of mostly Bengali Muslim settlers, many of whom came from the former East Pakistan before it became Bangladesh in 1971.
The two groups have clashed sporadically since 1990s and burned each other’s homes and property, state officials said.
With inputs from AP