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Assam death toll rise

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 Activist of All Assam Tea Tribes Student Association burn tyres to block NH-52 at Biswanath Chariali in Sonitpur district of Assam to protest against Tuesday's militant attacks in Assam's Kokrajhar and Sonitpur districts that left 40 people dead on Dec 24, 2014.
Activist of All Assam Tea Tribes Student Association burn tyres to block NH-52 at Biswanath Chariali in Sonitpur district of Assam to protest against Tuesday’s militant attacks in Assam’s Kokrajhar and Sonitpur districts that left 40 people dead on Dec 24, 2014.

The death toll in the attacks by Bodo militants on unarmed tribals has risen to 65, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.

He said three people were also killed Wednesday in Sonitpur district when police fired at thousands of angry tribals who took to the streets.

Sonitpur is one of the three districts apart from Kokrajhar and Chirang where the killings by Bodo militants took place Tuesday.

The killing of unarmed civilians by Bodo militants in Assam “is highly condemnable and shows contempt for human lives”, Amnesty International India said Wednesday.

Authorities have blamed a faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-S) for the attacks, an Amnesty statement said.

“The men, women and children killed and injured in these attacks were mostly members of the adivasi community who traditionally work in the tea gardens of the region,” it said.

“It is the fundamental right 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,” Amnesty said.

Expressing grief over the killings in Assam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday announced ex-gratia of Rs.2 lakh each to families of the dead and Rs.50,000 to the seriously injured.

“Modi has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the militant attacks on tribals in Kokrajhar and Sonitpur districts,” a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.

Modi has sanctioned ex-gratia of Rs.2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs.50,000 to seriously injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF), it added.

The PMO announced that Rs.86 lakh will be released to the Assam government from PMNRF.