Unidentified assailants on Tuesday afternoon gunned down Lafikul Islam, president of the All Bodoland Minority Students' Union (ABMSU) and a popular minority leader in Kokrajhar in western Assam, with the police saying the culprits could be persons known to him.
The incident took place at about 4:30 pm when the ABMSU president was purchasing tiles at a shop in the market.
Police said two motorcycle-borne accused used an AK-47 to shoot Ahmed, who died on the spot.
Meanwhile, tension prevails in and around Kokrajhar following the incident and security measures have been tightened in the entire Kokrajhar district.
Later in the day, ABMSU supporters blocked roads by burning tyres and shouted slogans in Basugaon and other adjoining areas, protesting the killing.
"The investigation is going on to nab the culprit".
He asked Director General of Police (DGP) Mukesh Sahay to rush to Kokrajhar to review the situation and initiate an inquiry to nab the culprits within 24 hours.
A massive hunt has been launched to nab the killers and further investigations were on, police added.
Condemning the killing, Sonowal called upon the people to maintain peace and harmony and stay away from the rumour mongers. "The state government should order a high-level probe into his murder", Badruddin Ajmal, chief of All India United Democratic Front, said. The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti president Akhil Gogoi termed it a political killing and said there were "deep conspiracies behind this to destabilise the region and incite communal clash". "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.
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