AMNESTY SLAMS ASSAM KILLINGS AS ‘SHAMEFUL’

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Relatives of victims. The police say the violence is by an armed insurgent group that has been agitating for a separate state. AP
Families mourn their relatives in Kokrajhar, Assam.  AP photo

NEW DELHI — The Amnesty International India said killings in Assam are shameful and asked the authorities to protect rights of all communities.

The killing of  civilians, allegedly by armed groups, in Assam’s Kokrajhar and Baksa districts is condemnable and shows contempt for human lives, the Amnesty International India stated.

The first incident of shooting took place late in a village in Baksa on Thursday evening, and two other shootings occurred in Kokrajhar and Baksa over the following day, with bodies continuing to be found on Saturday morning. All the victims were from Muslim families.

The Assam state government and police alleged that the killings were perpetrated by an armed group, the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB ). The armed group has denied responsibility, the Amnesty International stated.

It then said the region has witnessed several incidents of violence in the past . In July 2012, clashes broke out between Bodo and Muslim communities, killing over 75 people and displacing thousands from their homes.

“It is the fundamental right of people of every person to live free from violence and discrimination. Authorities in Assam must take action to protect the rights of all communities and bring those responsible for the attacks to justice,” the Amnesty International added.

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