By Kira Youdina | July 24, 2012 - 11:00 GMT
The unrest that began in northeast India on Friday, 20 July 2012 has resulted in the deaths of 22 people and the fleeing of 40,000 inhabitants.
The Indian state of Assam has long been a battleground between various ethnic and rebel groups. The fighting that started on Friday appears to be the result of attacks on Bodo tribal groups in response to the shooting of two Muslim students in Kokrajhar, according to the Press Trust of India.
“Police, army and paramilitary troopers have intensified patrols and a 24-hour, indefinite curfew has been imposed,” said the Forest Minister of Assam Rockybul Hussain.
As the violence began to spread on Monday night, with rioters burning shops and fighting breaking out between rival gangs, the police announced a shoot-on-sight order.
The death toll has already reached 22 people and as many as 40,000 local villagers have abandoned their homes. The government has set up relief centers where the region’s displaced inhabitants can receive shelter, food, and medicine.
The violence may hinder peace talks that have recently begun between some of the largest rebel groups and the government.
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