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Adivasi women stipped, beaten up in Assam


Deborshi Chaki,CNN-IBN
Nov 27, 2007 at 03:36am IST

Guwahati: Assam was rocked by violence during Saturday's protests by tribals, backed by the All Assam Adivasi Students' Association (AAASA) students, when locals brutally beat them up resulting in at least one death and over 250 people getting injured.

Not only were the Adivasi students beaten up, but the women protesters were also stripped and molested by the residents of Guwahati.

A local Assamese businessman, identified as Ratul Burman, was seen attacking a woman after she was stripped during clashes on Saturday.

“The act is condemnable and the states human rights commission would investigate the matter. This is the first time such a thing has happened and stern action must be taken,” says Mridula Saharia, Chairperson of Assam State Commission for Women.

Burman and two others have been arrested. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has announced a Rs 1 lakh compensation to the woman.

"Adivasis every where are angry. I request you all to keep the situation peaceful,” former Union Minister and Adivasi leader Shibu Soren said.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, Gogoi also said, "We'll demand maximum punishment for him. A judicial inquiry has been ordered over the incident. This is an uncivilised act."

The AAASA has called a 36-hour bandh in Assam starting Monday to protest against Saturday's clashes between Guwahati residents and tribal demonstrators demanding scheduled tribe status.

Over 250 people were injured in those clashes. In Ranchi, capital of Jharkhand, all major pro-tribal organisations have called a 12-hour bandh.

In more incidents of violence in Assam two more people have been killed, one of them shot in firing by the army.

Army was called in to stage flag marches in Guwahati on Saturday evening after Adivasi students went on the rampage, looting shops and burning vehicles in Assam's capital city.

The tribal people demanding Scheduled Tribe status for the community took out the protest march on Saturday.

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