A popular minority leader in western Assam’s Kokrajhar and president of All Bodo Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU), Lafikul Islam Ahmed, was today gunned down by unidentified assailants in the district, police said. Two motorcycle-borne assailants opened fire from an AK-47 rifle at Ahmed while he had gone to buy tiles at a shop in Titaguri Market in Kokrajhar town, killing him on the spot and seriously injuring the shopkeeper, Superintendent of Police Rajen Singh said. Police found three empty AK-47 cartridges from the spot. Tension prevails in Kokrajhar and its adjoining districts in Lower Assam with protesters coming out on the streets. Volatile situation was also reported from some places along the National Highway 31. ABMSU has called an indefinite bandh in protest against the killing and has demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.
Security in all the districts of Lower Assam has been intensified following the killing. “The investigation is going on to nab the culprit. I have already asked one IG to rush to the spot and sent reinforcement to maintain peace and order,” Director General of Assam Police Mukesh Sahay told PTI here. Sahay said he would also rush to the spot tonight to oversee the situation and expedite the investigation to nab the assailants.
Ahmed was very popular among minorities in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts and was a strong voice of the youths from the community. He was attacked by some miscreants earlier also, after which police had provided him with personal bodyguards. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has condemned the incident and asked DGP Mukesh Sahay to review the prevailing situation.
A massive hunt has been launched to nab the killers and further investigations were on, the police added. Condemning the killing, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora demanded a high-level enquiry into the incident. “Assam Govt must show its courage and sincerity by apprehending the culprits immediately and we demand Assam government to ensure security of the life and property of the people,” he wrote on Facebook.
CPI(M) Secretary Deben Bhattacharya demanded proper enquiry and strict vigil by law enforcing agencies to maintain peace in the state.
The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti President Akhil Gogoi termed it a political killing and said there were “deep conspiracies behind this to destabilise the region and incite communal clash”. AIUDF Secretary Haidor Hussain Bora said the culprits should get maximum punishment for killing the very popular youth leader.
Democratic Youth Federation of India, Satra Mukti Sangram Samiti, Char-Chapori Sahitya Parishad and many other organisations condemned the killing and demanded a speedy investigation.