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Assam curfew continues; 2 persons succumb to injuries

Haflong/Guwahati: An indefinite curfew clamped in Maibang area in Dima Hasao district of Assam continued today even as the two persons injured in yesterday's violence succumbed to injuries. The 48-hour Dima Hasao district bandh was called by a number of groups to protest yesterday's police firing. The groups have also demanded a written statement from the government on the 'Nagalim' issue in the context of the hill district.

The bandh has paralysed normal life in this central Assam district. "Two persons have died since yesterday. While one person died on the way to hospital in Guwahati, the other succumbed this morning," a senior government official told PTI.

Mitunjoy Dibragede (33) died on the way. Probanta Hakmaosa (27) lost his life at the GNRC Hospital this morning, the official said. A wooden bridge was set ablaze by unknown persons, officials said. The protesters are also demanding immediate suspension of deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police besides payment of Rs 5 lakh each to the 10 injured in yesterday's police firing.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Mukesh Agarwal held a meeting to review the situation in presence of the deputy commissioner, district police officials, members of North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council and various students union.

Meanwhile, the Republic Day function at the district headquarters town Haflon was cut short with just hoisting of the tricolour as there was hardly any public present. The day being a national holiday, all offices, educational institutions, banks, post offices, markets and other establishments remained closed today.

But shops and markets were closed and vehicles were off the roads due to the bandh call, officials said. Yesterday, various organisations in the district had called a 12-hour district bandh in protest against inclusion of Dima Hasao in Greater Nagalim as per a reported draft by RSS member Jagdamba Mall.

The protesters had blocked trains at Maibang station, broke windowpanes of a train, damaged properties at the station and removed tracks, a NF Railway spokesperson said. To disperse the mob, police initially lathicharged and then fired in the air.

Officials claimed that police had to open fire as the mob was unrelenting and continued their violence by damaging vehicles of the deputy commissioner's cavalcade. Later on, the district administration clamped indefinite curfew in Maibang area.

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