Fresh ethnic violence kills four in India

November 17, 2012

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- File Photo

GAUHATI: Four members of a family sleeping in their makeshift bamboo home were fatally shot in renewed ethnic violence in a riot-hit district in India's remote northeast, police said Saturday.

Two family members survived the attack by armed assailants on Friday night and authorities imposed an indefinite curfew in Kokrajhar district, said Assam state police Inspector-General G.P. Singh.

The area is 300 kilometres west of Gauhati, the state capital.

Singh says army troops have joined thousands of paramilitary troops and police officers in patrolling the region to prevent more violence. The attackers fled.

Assam state has been simmering with tension since riots broke out between ethnic Bodos and Muslim settlers in late July. The worst of the violence was controlled within two weeks, but it left at least 100 people dead and displaced nearly 400,000 people.

Nearly 100,000 people are still living in state-run relief camps and the rest have returned to their homes, Singh said.

At least 11 people have been killed in the past week in hit-and-run attacks by rival communities in Kokrajhar and two neighboring districts, Singh told The Associated Press.    He declined to identify those killed in the attacks.

The Bodos and Muslim settlers, who mostly came from the former East Pakistan before it became Bangladesh in 1971, have clashed repeatedly over the years but the recent violence is the worst since the mid-1990s. Most of the fighting is focused on land rights.