|Hearing into Hailakandi group clashes begin|
HAILAKANDI, June 11 - Additional Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar Bora, who happens to be the single member of the commission of inquiry constituted by the Assam Government to probe the causes behind the law-and-order problems following group clashes and vandalism that occurred on May 10 this year, heard witnesses in Hailakandi town on Monday.
The one-man inquiry commission conducted the public hearing at the Circuit House here since morning in which individuals, eye witnesses, groups, organisations and associations deposed before it.
Group clashes and vandalism took place in Hailakandi town on the first Friday prayers of Ramadan which witnessed torching of houses and vehicles. Police had to resort to firing to stop the rampaging mob in which one person died and several sustained injuries. Curfew was clamped for several days in Hailakandi town and, subsequently, extended to the entire district to bring the situation under control.
The district administration organised meetings with leading citizens, mediapersons, political representatives and organisations and brought out rallies appealing for peace and communal harmony.
In the aftermath of the clashes and vandalism, various civil society groups appealed to the government to conduct an inquiry into it.
Earlier, Additional Chief Secretary Bora inspected the sites in Hailakandi town where violence erupted. Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli, Superintendent of Police Mohneesh Mishra, Commissioner of Barak Valley Anwar Uddin Choudhury and other officials accompanied the Additional Chief Secretary.
More than 130 affidavits have been filed before the Commission by individuals and organisations till filing of this report, which included the Nagarik Adhikar Suraksha Samiti, Hailakandi District Merchants’ Association, Sri Sri Ramakrishna Seva Samiti, District Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat, Udaan, Dreams, BJP district committee, youth wing of AIUDF, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Hindu Jagaran Mancha, AMSU and many other organisations.
Most of the organisations held the district civil and police administration responsible for the spread of violence on the day of clash. The Hailakandi District Merchants’ Association demanded adequate compensation to the businessmen who lost their properties. They also demanded arrest of the culprits involved in the rampage.
District Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat secretary Nazrul Islam Mira alleged that the police played the role of an audience and did not try to ease the situation, which resulted in the death of a person and injury to many.
Nagarik Adhikar Suraksha Samiti secretary Ranjit Ghosh demanded permanent posting of a company of Rapid Action Force (RAF) in Hailakandi. KMSS secretary Johir Uddin alleged that police killed the youth like a war criminal on the day of clash in Hailakandi town on May 10.
Hearing in the case was going on till the filing of this report.