GUWAHATI: Unidentified assailants on Tuesday shot dead the president of All Bodo Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU), Lafikul Islam Ahmed, in Assam’s Kokrajhar district.
The police said Ahmed was gunned down at around 4:30 pm when he had gone to buy tiles from a shop in Titaguri market. While he died on the spot, the shopkeeper was grievously injured. The police retrieved two empty cartridges of 7.65 and 9 mm pistols from the site of the incident.
As news about Ahmed’s death spread, protesters hit the streets. The situation in Kokrajhar and its adjoining towns was reported to be very tense. The ABMSU called an indefinite bandh in protest against the killing and demanded immediate arrest of the assailants.
Director general of police (DGP), Mukesh Sahay, told the New Indian Express that reinforcements were sent to all sensitive areas to thwart any untoward incident. “The situation is tense but under control. We have also sent the armed and paramilitary forces. Nobody will be allowed to take advantage of the situation,” Sahay said.
He said Ahmed was provided with a personal security officer (PSO) who was not there with him at the time of the incident. “He was given a PSO which means he had security concerns,” Sahay said.
Given that two empty cases of two different pistols were recovered, he suspected that there were at least two assailants.
Asked if the militants could be involved, the top cop said, “We are not ruling out anything. The reason of the attack could be personal also. We have to investigate all possible angles”.
A similar killing of a Muslim leader in 2012 had triggered communal riots between Bengali-speaking Muslims and Bodos in which over 100 lives were lost.