Guwahati: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has directed Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to do everything possible to control the situation in Kokrajhar and Chirang following violence in the areas. Nearly 50,000 people have fled their homes in around 400 villages across Kokrajhar, Dhubri and Chirang districts.
The death toll in the violence has now gone up to 21. The government has set up 42 relief camps.
Meanwhile, train services have been severely hit due to rail blockades. At least six north-east bound trains have been cancelled and 18 others including the Rajdhani and Sampark Kranti have been affected.
Fourteen companies of the CRPF have been sent to control the situation.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said that the situation in Kokrajhar was still tense and the state government was trying its best to control it.
Gogoi said that panic was the reason why many people were leaving their homes. "21 people have been killed, more than 40,000 people are in the camps. We have sent para military forces to the location and have ordered shoot at site orders. We are dealing firmly with the situation."
Nearly 400 villages are said to be affected and even as shoot-at-sight orders remain in place in the region, the houses of many of those who fled were torched and burnt on Tuesday morning.
The Assam Police says it has formed special peace committees to talk to the people.
The root cause of the violence, however, still remains unexplained.
There are some reports of land encroachment problems, some of outsiders fuelling attacks but no one is sure what led to the violence. The trigger though took place in a village called Joypur on Friday where four people where hacked to death. After that, attacks and counter attacks have spread like wildfire.
Chandan Bramha, the state Transport Minister, said, "The entire incident is very unfortunate. Violence will never solve any problem. I condemn this incident."
Curfew is still on in Kokrajhar from 6 am to 6 pm and the entire area looks like a ghost town.
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