The Army has been kept on standby as tension mounted in Assam's Baksa district where bodies of three more persons kidnapped by suspected NDFB (S) militants were retrieved from Beki River today.
Baksa Deputy Commissioner Vinod Seshan said, "We have recovered three more bodies this morning from Beki river. We do not know the type of injuries these bodies bore. The details will be known after investigation." Bodies of all the four who were kidnapped on Friday night by suspected NDFB (Songbijit) militants, including two teenaged boys, have now been found. The first body, bearing a cut mark on the head, was recovered last evening from the river in Barpeta district.
The bodies recovered today were identified as those of Ataur Rahman (27), Rubul Amin (45) and Saddam Ali(13), while that of Bakar Ali(13) was found yesterday. The four were among seven lemon traders who had gone to Labdanguri market in Baksa district from the adjacent Barpeta district. The family members and villagers in Barpeta district, from where the four hailed, have refused to conduct the last rites demanding that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi visit the area to address their grievances.
The police fired in the air to disperse a mob protesting against the kidnap ignoring the curfew at Anand Bazar area, Seshan said, adding "police had to use force as the people violated the curfew and refused to leave the place."
The state government last evening replaced the Baksa Superintendent of Police Nimbalkar Vaibhav Chandrakant and appointed 10th Assam Police Battalion commandant Mojibur Rahman in his place.
In May this year, 50 people were killed in Baksa and Kokrajhar in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts by suspected Bodoland Peoples Front-supported militants. NIA and the state government are separately probing the incidents.
In another incident, a police official was beaten up and critically injured by agitated people while he was taking the three bodies for post-mortem in Baksa, forcing the police to resort to lathicharge and fire tear gas shells. Nine persons were arrested in connection with the incident on the charge of rioting and attacking a police officer on duty during curfew, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Ajit Prasad Rout said.
The official had been admitted at the Barpeta Medical College and Hospital for treatment, he said.
"After the bodies were recovered and some tense situation during the day, we requested the Army to show 'area dominance' but no flag march is ordered yet," Baksa Deputy Commissioner Vinod Seshan said.
Rout said the 'janaja' (last rites) of Abu Bakkar was performed during the day, while those of the other three will be carried out tomorrow after the post-mortem was done. The state governemt has announced payment of exgratia of Rs eight lakh each for the next of kin of the victims.
Indefinite curfew has been clamped in the Gobardhana police station and Anandbazar police station areas in Baksa district as well as the northern side of railway line in Barpeta district since yesterday.