Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Army bids to calm India violence

ndia's army has moved in to stop armed clashes over land between settlers and local villagers that have killed at least 11 people
ndia's army has moved in to stop armed clashes over land between settlers and local villagers that have killed at least 11 people

India's army has moved in to stop armed clashes over land between settlers and local villagers that have killed at least 11 people in the remote north-east, police said.

Two days of battles between the ethnic Bodo community and Muslim settlers also injured at least 10 people in Kokrajhar district, nearly 155 miles west of Gauhati, the state capital, said police inspector-general SN Singh.

The clashes in Assam state began on Friday after assailants killed one person. As the violence spread to more than half a dozen villages in the region, nearly 7,000 people fled their homes and took refuge in state-run relief camps, Mr Singh said.

State authorities called in the army and imposed a night curfew in the region to quell violence. No fresh clashes have since been reported.

The soldiers have been patrolling the violence-hit region, Mr Singh said.

Animosity and accusations of land-stealing have long simmered between Bodos and the thousands of mostly Bengali Muslim settlers, many of whom came from the former East Pakistan before it became Bangladesh in 1971.

The two groups have clashed sporadically since 1990s and burned each other's homes and property, state officials said.

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