The on-going violent fighting in Assam between ethnic Bodo tribes and Muslim settlers, most of them accused as Bangladeshi immigrants, have claimed over 33 lives so far. The Riots have raged for several days now and failure of administration is evident from the fact that more than 1,70,000 people have taken shelter in 121 relief camps. Worse, thousands of people were yesterday seen leaving the relief camps due to lack of adequate security.
Yesterday, Police opened fire on rioters burning property in the Bodo-dominated Kokrajhar district, killing four people, police inspector general S.N. Singh told media personnel. In spite of Shoot at Sight orders and curfew imposed, hundreds of Armed men were found attacking villages and blazing them. Some of the incidents happened in front of the Police who was found more helpless than the fleeing people due to lack of sufficient force. About 500 villages have been destroyed by arson, said police while locals claim that the actual number is far more.
The latest violence was sparked on Friday night when unidentified men killed four youths in Kokrajhar district, police and district officials said. In retaliation, some armed Bodo men attacked Muslims, suspecting them of being behind the killings.
Hagrama Mohilary, the leader of the Bodo council governing the region, warned that former militants had joined the violence to protect Bodo villages. He also claimed that the Muslim rioters has been joined and supported by Bangladeshis who have crossed over the border to engage in the riots.
After much debate and political accuses, finally The Indian Army was called out in Assam yesterday after the situation in the violence-torn Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts deteriorated. It has been known that Defence Ministry had cleared the deployment of the Army in the three districts after the State made the request.The rail link between the State and the rest of the country got snapped already. So the question is how the additional companies of Army would arrive in the region.