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ABMSU president Lafikul Islam murdered in Assam

Guwahati: Lafikul Islam Ahmed, a popular minority leader in western Assam’s Kokrajhar and president of All Bodo Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU) , was 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, 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.

The tragic incident would be an embarassment to the ruling BJP government in Assam since it happened when PM Modi on Tuesday arrived for a day-long visit to review the flood situation in the state which has resulted in the deaths of 76 persons.

“There is a design behind Lafiqul’s murder. The (BJP-led coalition) government should take steps to ensure this does not snowball into a major law and order problem,” Sultan Mahmud Mirdha, spokesperson for a minority literary organisation, said.

Tension prevails in Kokrajhar and its adjoining disticts in Lower Assam with protesters coming out on the streets. Volatile situation was also reported in some places along the National Highway 31.

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 tweeted, “I strongly condemn the killing of ABMSU president Lafikul Islam. Directed Assam police DGP to visit Kokrajhar & do a thorough investigation.”

Himant Biswa Sarma, a member of Sonowal’s cabinet and who had left Congress in the previous government to join the BJP, said, “I am deeply distressed to learn about the killing of ABMSU president Lafikul Islam and strongly condemn it. My condolences to the family.”

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.

A massive hunt has been launched to nab the killers and further investigations were on, police added.

The killing of Islam, a prominent leader in Assam, will pose serious questions on the law and order situation in the BJP-led government, which had come to power last year.

 (With PTI inputs)