GUWAHATI: A day after five Bengali-speaking men were gunned down by suspected militants in Tinsukia, Assam, police in Guwahati arrested Mrinal Hazarika, leader of the pro-talks faction of ULFA, for making "inflammatory" comments recently.
The police suspected the hand of the Paresh Baruah faction of the insurgent group United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA-Independent) in the killings, but the outfit has washed its hands of the incident.
Speaking in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which the Centre wants to pass to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who migrated until December 31, 2014, Hazarika had said that if required, the houses of Bengalis should be raided and there should be a massacre.
Ministers Parimal Suklabaidya, Tapan Gogoi and Keshab Mahanta, and the state's director general of police, Kuladhar Saikia, visited the site of the incident on Friday.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, "We will not spare any who makes or circulates hate comments. Strong action will be taken against the perpetrators of the dastardly act. No one can destroy the friendship and brotherhood of people in Assam."
Normal life was thrown out of gear during the 12-hour Tinsukia district bandh on Friday called by a Bengali students' organisation in protest against the killings. The organisation has called for a statewide bandh on Saturday.