GUWAHATI, Aug 19: Two northeast Indians fleeing home on fears of retaliation for violence against Muslims in Assam state died and nine others were injured after being pushed from a moving train on Sunday, an Indian Railways official said, raising the prospect of more communal clashes.

The incident happened near the Jalpaiguri railway station in the northern part of the state of West Bengal, close to Assam, the official said.

“Two persons died, four are critically wounded and five suffered minor injuries,” the Indian Railways official said, declining to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Many northeastern Indians have fled cities like Bangalore and Mumbai after a spate of rumours by text messages and on the Internet warned Muslims may attack people from the region.

The tension was stoked by a fight between Muslims and the indigenous Bodo tribe earlier this month over violence in Assam linked to land disputes and communal harassment that left scores dead.

More than 30,000 people from the northeast, many of whom migrated to cities for work, boarded trains provided by Indian Railways in the past week to reach the northeast, media reports said on Saturday.—Reuters

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