The problem supposedly is that muslim migrants voted for the non-Bodo candidate and the attacks on the family of four year old Taslima Khatun and others are to ensure that people will not repeat the same “mistake” again. But here is a larger question: if these people are truly migrants, who issued voting cards for them? All parties have taken advantage of the plight of migrants, they get ration cards etc in return for the promise of votes. And one day the “natives” decide that enough is enough and go for the kill. This is sadly the story of the North-East.
It is also important to remember that this picture has acquired an unnecessary religious color (in the press and by the politicians). In Tripura it is the Hindu Bangladeshis who have displaced tribals from their land and are facing attacks in response (though not on the scale in Axom).
Modi is on record stating that after the elections all Bangladeshis must pack up and leave. All secular politicians from Omar Abdullah to Mamata Banerjee are (justifiably) outraged. But ultimately this wedge issue will work in the same way as all others- unite non-muslims against muslims. The polarization also works in both directions, muslims in Mumbai feel free to run riot out of sympathy with their Bangladeshi compatriots. And we are back to having the army protect the Taslima Khatuns from terrorists everywhere.
Bodoland People’s Front leader said, “Everything was fine till April 23.
We were assured that we would get about 80% Muslim votes in the third
phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Kokrajhar on April 24. But all
Muslim votes went in favour of Naba Kumar Sarania alias Heera Sarania.”
Sarania, a reformed ULFA militant, was supported by non-Bodos, who are
opposed to the creation of Bodoland state as demanded by Bodo groups. ……….
troops Assam on Saturday after 31 Muslims were gunned down in three days
of what police said were attacks by tribal militants who resent the
presence of immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.
The unrest in the tea-growing
state comes towards the end of a marathon election across India that has
heightened ethnic and religious divisions and which the Hindu
nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) looks set to win.
forces found the bodies of nine people with bullet wounds on Saturday,
six of them women and children, the third day of violence that police
have blamed on Bodo tribesmen attacking Muslim settlers as punishment
for opposing their candidate in the election to the Indian parliament.
Bodo people are followers of the local Bathouist religion.
are scared to live in our village, unless security is provided by the
government,” said Anwar Islam, a Muslim who had come to buy food in
Barama, a town about 30 km (20 miles) from the villages in the Baksa
district where the violence erupted on Thursday and Friday.
said men armed with rifles had come to his village, Masalpur, on
bicycles and had then fired indiscriminately and set huts on fire.
representatives say many of the Muslims in Assam are illegal immigrants
from Bangladesh who encroach on ancestral Bodo lands. In 2012, clashes
erupted in which dozens of people were killed and 400,000 fled their
candidates, including the BJP’s Narendra Modi, the front-runner for
prime minister, have been calling for tighter border controls.
Modi said last week that
illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in the nearby state of West Bengal
should have their “bags packed” in case he came to power, accusing the
state government of being too soft.
should have been more responsible in his utterances,” said Sabyasachi
Basu Roy Chowdhury, a political science professor at Rabindra Bharati
University in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal.“His
words can be very damaging since, even if we consider that Bangladeshis
are living here illegally, there is a question of human rights too.”
in convoys of trucks mounted with rifles were patrolling on Saturday in
Baksa district, where some of the attacks took place.
covered with white sheets were laid out in a row at a police outpost on
the edge of Barama for identification by relatives.
Muslims were staying together in big groups, villagers visiting the
market in Barama said. Security forces found three children hiding in
forests near the border with China.
Bodo region faces what residents say is a tight race between a Bodo and
a non-tribal candidate. A policeman was killed during the voting when
the region went to the polls on April 24.