Violence in BTAD of Assam – Dead toll rises to 32

The BTAD region of Assam is again red with blood. As per recent reports, 32 people were killed in fresh violence in Assam’s BTAD area since last 2 days. Just a day earlier, 11 more people had been killed. Most of these people killed were from Muslim communities and this threatened the loom of an ethnic conflict once again. It is to be mentioned that this region has been plagued with such riots and ethnic cleansing killing for a long time. Just two years ago, ethnic riots between the indigenous Bodo tribe and immigrant Muslims had killed more than 100 people in the region.

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The State police have stated that anti-talks or Sangbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) were behind the recent killings. The outfit haven’t declared any claim over its involvment on the recent violence.

Interestingly, All Bodoland Minority Students Union (ABMSU) has accused that the killings were the per the directions of the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) stating that this was being done as they (BPF) is facing defeat in the ongoing national elections. However, BPF leader and Rajya Sabha member Biswajit Daimari has rubbished the charges.

It is to be mentioned that this time in Kokrajhar constituency, which is the heartland of the BTAD the main electoral fight is over the issue of proposed Bodoland state. This time, all Non-Bodo organizations have together fielded Heera Saraniya alias Naba Saraniya as an Independent candidate. Saraniya was the dreaded militant and Commander of the 709 Battalion of the ULFA, before joining in the lateral talks process with the Union Government of India with other senior leaders of the outfit. Heera Saraniya is believed to be able to stop the local goons related to the BPF and stand strongly against the proposed Bodoland state. On the other hand, the other main candidate from BPF is fighting on the issue of Bodoland state.

It is alleged that BPF leaders such as Hagrama Mohilary and others have been able to understand that Heera Saraniya would be sure to win in the constituency. As such, it is further alleged that a situation of ethnic conflict and unrest is being created on purpose to make sure that Saraniya’s activities are cut down. Known from BTAD sources, BJP aide RSS is backing the violence to create communal unrest.

Indefinite curfew was imposed in Kokrajhar, Baksa and Chirang districts of Assam after the violence. Indian Army is deployed in the violence affected areas.

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has called for an emergency meet over the violence.

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