Monday, August 20, 2012

8,000 northeasterners arrive in Guwahati

Guwahati, August 20, 2012

Four more special trains, three from Bangalore and one from Howrah, arrived at the railway station here on Monday, bringing about 8000 more people fleeing from the south, even as Id celebration in the State including the violence-hit districts of Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Chirang passed off peacefully. Assam Home Secretary G.D. Tripathi told The Hindu that bodies of two passengers, one identified as Atul Das from river-island Majuli was recovered near the railway track at Burdwan in West Bengal and another identified as Bharat Saikia from Kanpur in Nagaon district was recovered near a railway track near Kishanganj in Bihar.

Mr. Tripathi said the death of these two passengers could be due to overcrowding in the special trains as preliminary reports did not indicate any scuffle or any untoward incident. Both the victims were working as security guards in Bangalore.The Northeast Frontier Railway ran a special train from Kamakhya to Dibrugarh after the arrival of all the four special trains.

Mr. Tripathi said the Id celebration passed off peacefully in the State. As of Monday there were 2,67,267 inmates in 224 relief camps. The inmates include 2,15,908 Muslims staying in 174 camps and 51,359 Bodos in 49 camps and 105 inmates belonging to other communities in one camp.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi took part in the Id prayer at Machkhowa Idgah here and prayed for the victims of recent violence in Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Chirang and Bongaigaon districts. Mr. Gogoi said no evil force would succeed in destroying age-old harmony among different sections in the State. He also announced a financial assistance of Rs. 50 lakh for improvement of the Machkhowa idgah.

Iboyaima Laithangbam reports from Imphal:

One of the two persons killed after having been thrown out of a running train near Jalpaiguri in West Bengal has been identified as Shariff Ahmed of Manipur. He hails from Turel Ahanbi near Lilong in Thoubal district.

According to Yaiskul, IAS, who was deputed to Guwahati to facilitate the travel of Manipuri students and employees fleeing southern cities following rumours of threats, Ahmed was a student of Cotton College, Bangalore. He was one of the nine northeasterners beaten up by some persons on a special train. Cash, mobile phones and other valuables had been snatched from them. Later all of them were thrown out of the train. Two of them died on the spot. Seven others are battling for their lives in a hospital.

Mr. Yaiskul and other officials stationed in Guwahati said the body would be brought to Manipur after post-mortem. The injured would be airlifted for better medicare.

Officials are facilitating the travel of the fleeing students and employees by arranging special buses.

Death toll up

Kolkata Staff Reporter writes:

With the recovery of three more bodies, it was feared that the death toll in the incident in north Bengal where some passengers were thrown off a Guwahati-bound special train from Bangalore has risen to five on Monday."Late last [Sunday] night, two more bodies were recovered near Falakata. We also have reports of another body being recovered along the route of the train, but we cannot ascertain that it was connected to the same incident," S. Hajong, official spokesperson of Northeast Frontier Railway told The Hindu over telephone.

According to Mr. Hajong, the incident occurred at about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday after the train crossed the New Jalpaiguri station. Two bodies were recovered on Sunday morning while the injured persons were rushed to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.

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