Biswanath Chariali/TEZPUR, Jan 30 � Tension prevails in Behali and its adjoining areas in Sonitpur district following the massacre of 10 villagers by suspected Arunachali encroachers in Behali Reserve Forest yesterday.
On the other hand, thousands of protesters along with activists of AASU, AAGSU, AJYCP, AAMSU, CPI (ML) etc., blocked the national highway at Borgang for the whole day, demanding strong action against the culprits. An economic blockade against Arunachal Pradesh has also been launched and all Arunachal-bound vehicles were blocked at New Kettela.
The protesters also demanded of the State Government to safeguard the life and land of the people of Assam.
Meanwhile, those killed in the carnage were identified as Tanka Bahadur Chubba (55), Himani Chubba, Prakash Chubba, Om Bahadur Chubba, Roopchand Munda (65), Mun Bahadur Kharka (60), Maneshwar Barman (50), Chandra Bhakta, Rohit Chubaa and Bhalu Chubba. They belonged to Tinisuti, Shamukjuli and Maitalu villages under Biswanath subdivision. Those who were injured were identified as Marthin Munda, Raju Fangchu, Chandra Bahadur Marak, Ramendra Engti, Muwal Panna, Rabiram Rongpi and Indreswar Das. The injured persons have been admitted to the GMCH and hospitals at Tezpur.
State Planning and Development Minister Tanka Bahadur Rai, Home Secretary Mukti Gogoi, BJP leader Bijoya Chakravarty, KMSS leader Aklil Gogoi and others visited Behali today and took stock of the situation.
Bijoya Chakravarty alleged that the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government had failed to protect the life and property of the people. �The Assam Government could not settle the interstate border dispute with Arunachal Pradesh, even though both the states are ruled by Congress,� she alleged.
Akhil Gogoi urged the Chief Minister to resign for his alleged failure to safeguard the life and land of the State�s people. On the imposition of economic blockade against Arunachal Pradesh, he said the blockade was justifiable as only then the Arunachal Government would feel the pressure to hand over the miscreants to Assam.
The State home department has declared an interim relief of Rs 1 lakh to each family of the slain villagers. The last rites of those killed were performed on the bank of the river Borgang this evening.
The Behali Reserve Forest under East Sonitpur Forest Division with a land area of 14,016 hectares has been witnessing a border dispute for the last many years. But it has been alleged that the government has not taken any necessary measure for settling the dispute. According to the local people, Arunachali miscreants had attacked the local people of Assam in 1989 and 1992 also.
Meanwhile, the CPI (ML) has called a 12-hour Assam bandh tomorrow in protest against the massacre.