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19 arrested in Udalguri

Situation in Udalguri district, Assam is taking a different turn following arrest of an alleged child lifter (Hopadhara) in Udalguri on Friday. According to an inconclusive ground report, three of the accused, all from Udalguri town area, were trying to take away children from Kapurpara area which is two kilometres away from Udalguri town. They were chased and one of them was caught near the energy station in Golma Chowk, about less than half a kilometre from the Udalguri police station.

The new Bolero, in which they were travelling, was set ablaze by the furious mob. The accused was taken away by police and admitted to Udalguri Civil Hospital for minor injuries. While two of the suspect managed to escape from the spot unhurt. The incident happened after several days of hearsay of human trafficking in the region.

Now there is a new twist in the tale. Although this is an isolated case, people are trying link this incident to brutal attack of brutal attempt to murder of a tribal boy in Harisinga on 30 May 2016. It is alleged, it is a retaliatory act. Sinister designs are being made to give a communal overtone on the incident, people alleged. It has already created a tense situation. Udalguri town remains closed today and Sec 144 of CrPC has been clamped in the entire area.

It is rather surprising; 17 Bodo people, including juveniles were arrested last night from Kapurpara area. They were tortured, admitted in Udalguri Civil Hospital and taken to police custody last night. Again, two people were taken to custody this morning while they went to see their dear ones who were taken to police custody last night. Some women were beaten up. One of them even fractured his hands. They are likely to be produced at Udalguri court today.

When police couldn’t arrest all the accused in Harisinga violence eve after two weeks, they were quick enough to nab the civilians, who wanted to catch the alleged abductors. According to local sources, police, CRPF and people from the accused community came to Kapurpara village, broke the doors and beat them up severely. It is learnt that those taken to police custody were not even involved in the incident.

Situation is Udalguri is already tense following brutal torture of a tribal juvenile. It calls for an utmost restraint on the part of the media and civil society. Biased police action will further complicate and inflame the situation on communal lines. The authority must engage in proper investigation without harassing the public. Stop calling this incident “Bodo Vs Non-Bodos”.

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