[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Death toll rises in India's Assam violence

Five more bodies are found raising number of killed to 43 in worst ethnic violence in northeastern state in two years.

Last updated: 07 May 2014 13:07
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
People staged vigil in the state capital, Guwahati, against the massacre [EPA]

Five more bodies have been recovered from a river near an area where more than 30 Muslims were killed last week in the worst ethnic violence in India's remote northeast in two years, official have said.

Local magistrate Vinod Sachan said that the bodies were found on Wednesday in the Barpeta district of Assam state, taking the total number killed to 43.

Two other bodies were found on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Barpeta is next to Baksa district, where police said rebels from the Bodo tribe, which has long accused Muslims of entering India illegally from neighbouring Bangladesh, went on a rampage, setting Muslim homes ablaze and firing indiscriminately at civilians.

Local media have reported that Bodos attacked the Muslims as punishment for failing to vote for their candidate last month in the country's mammoth, staggered election that is drawing to a close.

The group has denied it was behind the violence, according to the AFP news agency.

'Barbaric killings'

"So far the death toll is put at 43. The killings were indeed barbaric with even five-month-old baby not spared," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters from the worst-hit Narayanguri village.

Gogoi said about 15 children, aged eight months to 14, left orphaned by the bloodshed were being sent to a charity-run home in Guwahati.

Villagers broke down in tears as they recalled their terrifying ordeals, while others pleaded with officials travelling with the chief minister to help shift them to hospital for treatment.

"I saw my mother and father dying in front of me. I managed to save myself hiding under the bed as masked gunmen put bullets in my parents," 14-year-old Habiba Nessa told AFP.

Indian soldiers have launched a massive hunt for the Bodo rebels blamed for the violence which has forced several thousand people to flee their homes in fear, officials have said.

312

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.