BAKSA/KOKRAJHAR, May 4 � The official death toll in the BTAD violence has been put at 31 after the bodies of two adult females were recovered near Beki river under Gobardhana Police Station in Baksa district.
It is suspected that the deceased drowned in an attempt to cross the river out of fear. The deceased were from the Khagrabari and Narayanguri villages, respectively.
Staging protest over the violence, aggrieved locals of Baksa also refused to bury the dead bodies, demanding Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi�s visit and �assurance of safety and security.�����
However, they later relented and allowed the last rites to be performed after Border Development Minister Siddique Ahmed visited the place and pacified the people.
Exodus from minority dominated areas continues to take place with villagers complaining of inadequate security arrangements.
Fearing a fresh spate of violence, especially before the day of counting, Ahal Ali Sheikh of Duramoni village in Kokrajhar has finally decided to move out of his village along with his wife and seven-year-old son Sirajul, to their relative�s place in Dhubri.
Although news of exodus is denied by the Government machinery, villagers of�New Kadamtala area in Kokrajhar, has been witness to the developments.
Niranjan Barman, a resident of the village, said that the route through that village is preferred for two reasons.
�First, ours is a village dominated�by people of Rajbongshi community and secondly, the Dimoligaon police reserve falls in the route making it a safer option,� Barman said, adding that thousands are fleeing their homes out of fear.
�Irrespective of what the Government machinery has offered, there is just one kind of emotion running in the BTAD areas � the emotion of fear and uncertainty,� said Mozibur Ali of Jaliagaon village.
Gloomy faces and drooping shoulders are enough to explain the emotions of the locals.
�The memories of 2012 ethnic clashes are still fresh in the minds of the villagers and the recent incidents of violence are already giving sleepless nights to us. Jaliagaon was one of the worst affected villages of the 2012 group clashes, in which over 100 people had�died,� Ali said.
�God knows for how long we will have to live with these recurring nightmares. Victims of the 2012 group clashes are yet to recover, with some still undergoing treatment. The village has been at the receiving end of violence of various nature. Journalists and politicians visit each time, but nothing has changed for us,� Karim Ali, a senior member of the village rued.
Meanwhile, Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain visited Kokrajhar today and took stock of the situation. He assured that perpetrators of the killings would be caught and punished soon.