Passengers wait inside the stalled Dibrugarh-bound Rajdhani Express at New Jalpaiguri station near Siliguri, West Bengal, on Wednesday after several Guwahati-bound trains were cancelled due to ethnic violence.
Clashes continued unabated between minority immigrants and Bodo tribals across Western Assam on Wednesday, with the death toll in the week-long ethnic violence rising to 42 after the recovery of 10 more bodies.
Security sources said eight more bodies were recovered from Bijni in Chirang and two from Kokrajhar on Wednesday.
Thirteen columns of the Army comprising 1,000 soldiers were deployed in Kokrajhar, Chirang, Dhubri and Bongaigaon districts, where flag marches were held to give people a sense of confidence.
At least two lakh people have fled their homes in these four districts. Train services linking Assam and the Northeast with the rest of the country partially resumed on Wednesday.
Eight passenger trains, stuck at various stations, including in North Bengal, are now heading for their destinations with escort engines.
But security sources said a decision is yet to be taken on allowing the free movement of trains on a 64- km stretch within the Bodo tribal area because tensions were still simmering.
Over 30,000 passengers stranded since Monday at different railway stations in the Northeast and North Bengal face an acute shortage of food and drinking water.
The passengers alleged the Northeast Frontier Railway had failed to provide relief: train pantry cars did not have adequate food.
Western Assam DIG Surendar Kumar told this newspaper indefinite curfew and shoot-at-sight orders remained in force.
“We also shifted some villagers vulnerable to mob violence to our police lines,” adding the police was helping families which wanted to shift to safer locations.
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