Five killed in new unrest in NE India

Five Muslims were murdered in northeast India by an armed gang from the ethnic Bodo community in fresh violence, after more than a month of clashes, police said Sunday.

“A group of seven Muslim villagers in two vehicles were returning home from a relief camp when they came under attack,” said Sanjit Krishna, police chief of the western Chirang district, in Assam state.

Five were found dead near Choudhurypara village, about 220 kilometres (130 miles) from Assam’s main city of Guwahati, while police are trying to trace the other two.

The party had apparently been trying to reach their village after a few days of calm in the area and had dared to venture out on Saturday from their guarded government relief camp.

An estimated 90 people have died and 400,000 people from both communities are taking refuge in camps spread across four western Assamese districts of Chirang, Kokrajhar, Dhubri and Baksa.

In a separate incident early on Sunday, four Muslim villagers were wounded in an attack by tribal Bodos in Kokrajhar.

The wave of violence, a recurrence of problems that have plagued the volatile region for decades, has had far-reaching consequences in India.

Rumours that migrants from the northeast, who travel widely in India to study or work, would be attacked by Muslims in retaliation for the violence in Assam saw tens of thousands flee southern cities such as Bangalore.

The government has since unveiled wide-ranging efforts to counter Internet content seen as fanning the panic, with orders given to block hundreds of websites and webpages.

The orders even covered material found on the websites of reputed media organisations such as Australia’s ABC network or London’s The Daily Telegraph, leading to allegations of censorship.

The government also ordered the blocking of half a dozen fake Twitter accounts mimicking the prime minister and targeted two journalists.

Categories: Asia

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