Bodo leader's killing: Protesters try to block trains; Centre hands over probe to CBI

Kokrajhar/Rangia
26 Oct 2017

The Centre has handed over the probe into the killing of All Bodo Minority Students Union (ABMSU) chief Lafikul Islam to the CBI, even as his supporters staged protests in Kokrajhar and Baksa districts today demanding immediate arrest of the killers.
ABMSU members attempted rail blockades in the two districts prompting police action leading to scuffles between the two sides, officials said. Hundreds of slogan-shouting ABMSU protesters, including Islam's wife and sister, took to the streets in Kokrajhar district around 5 am today, a senior police official said. Police intervened when they were approaching railway stations to block the movement of trains, he said. "When the protesters pelted stones at the officers in their attempt to move forward, police resorted to lathicharge, teargas shelling and firing of rubber bullets in the air to disperse them," he added.
Several protesters were injured in the lathicharge while some hurt themselves when they tripped while running away, the police official said, adding that four security personnel also received injuries. Train services were disrupted for around two hours as the police tried to disperse the protesters and clear the tracks, railway sources said. In the neighbouring Baksa district too, the ABMSU central committee members gathered at the Khandikar railway station, demanding immediate arrest of the killers and suspension of Kokrajhar superintendent of police, an official said.
The committee members withdrew their blockade after submitting a memorandum to the chief minister through the sub-divisional officer (civil) of Tamulpur. ABMSU general secretary Shah Kamal Khandakar told news agency PTI that their decision to hold an agitation today was taken a month ago. "We had informed the administration and the railway authorities about today's agitation. It is a conspiracy on the part of the government to stop our democratic movement. We will continue with our protest till Islam's murderers are arrested," Khandakar asserted. A state government release issued last night had stated that the Centre handed over the case of Lafikul Islam's killing to the CBI, acting on its request.
"The CBI inquiry is most welcome...We have, however, not received any communication from the government on the matter," Khandakar said. ABMSU president Islam was shot dead by unidentified assailants at Titaguri market in Kokrajhar district on August 1. The Assam government had initially constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Inspector General of Police Anurag Tankha, to inquire into the killing and had provided ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the slain ABMSU leader. (PTI)