Assam Riots : Four die in fresh violence in Kokrajhar

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Assam Riots : Four die in fresh violence in Kokrajhar

November 17, 2012

Unidentified gunmen shot dead four persons of a family and injured one at Ziaguri village in Assam’s violence-hit Kokrajhar district on Friday night around 11 pm.

A curfew has been imposed in the district since Thursday.

A police source informed that a group of gunmen fired indiscriminately at the house of a minority villager killing four of the family and injuring one. The slain included one woman and a ten-year-old boy. The incident has added to the tension in the communally sensitive district.

Additional forces were rushed to the area to launch a combing operation.

The killing bore the stamp of militant operation, a police source said.

The incident occurred about 10 km from the district headquarters of Kokrajhar and despite heavy deployment of security forces. With this killing, the death toll due to a fresh spell of violence in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District Council area since November 10 has gone up to 12.

Friday night’s incident occurred following the review of the law and order situation in the district by Assam Director General of Police Jayanata Narayan Choudhury along with senior officials of the administration, paramilitary forces and the army earlier in the day.

While the police have not ruled out the involvement of a faction of Bodo tribe ultras in the fresh spell of killings, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has hinted involvement of ‘some politicos’ behind the violence.

Source : Rediff

Assam Riots : Two more gunned down in Kokrajhar

November 15, 2012

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Wednesday asked the police to deal with the latest spurt in killings in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts areas under the Bodoland Territorial Council with an iron hand and, if necessary, he said, they could take the help of the Army and paramilitary forces.

Mr. Gogoi’s directive, at a review meeting here, came in the wake of armed miscreants going on a killing spree in Kokrajhar district.

A woman, Sahera Bibi, was killed and three others were injured when gunmen opened fire indiscriminately at Salbari and Nalbari villages on Tuesday night. At Kachugaon village, miscreants gunned down Ashruddin Sheikh (45) and injured Akramul Haque Ahmed (27).

The death toll in the clashes between Bodos and Muslims in Kokrajhar and neighbouring districts since July has risen to 102, with miscreants killing 97 persons in July and August and five persons over the past five days.

Arms haul

Meanwhile, a joint operation by Assam and Meghalaya led to recovery of a huge arms consignment near the Khetri police station on the outskirts of Guwahati on Tuesday night. Inspector General of Police (Central Western Range) L.R. Bisnoi said the consignment, from Dimapur in Nagaland, was meant for the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), a militant outfit of Meghalaya.

Seven persons, including two GNLA cadres were arrested in connection with the recovery of nine weapons including two AK-47 rifles, six .32mm pistols, a grenade and 254 rounds of ammunition and a wireless set.

Source : The Hindu

Assam Riots : 1 more killed in Kokrajhar, toll three in three days

November 13, 2012

One more person was killed — the third in as many days — as incidents of violence have returned to Assam’s trouble-prone Kokrajhar district. The victim, identified as Ali Hussain (30), was shot from close range while he was working in a jute field on Monday morning.

An alert has been sounded in all the four Bodoland districts and those adjoining them, after Assam Chief Secretary N K Das reviewed the situation with DGP J N Chowdhury at a meeting here on Monday. The state government directed the police in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts to immediately launch an operation to seize all illegal arms. On Saturday, two persons — Ainul Haque (30) and Rabindra Boro (37) — were killed in two separate incidents in Kokrajhar district, on a day when Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had claimed that normalcy was fast returning to Bodoland districts and more than 4.46 lakh persons displaced during the July violence had returned to their respective villages.

Assam Home Secretary G D Tripathi said Ali Hussain, a jute cultivator, was working in his field in a village under Gossaigaon police station when a group of miscreants attacked him with a dao (machete) and then shot at him. Hussain died on the spot. The incident occurred within 200 m from a fixed picket manned by BSF personnel. Villagers complained to the authorities that the security personnel did not respond when they raised a hue and cry following the attack. Later, the villagers gheraoed Chautara railway station and blocked the main Guwahati-New Jalpaiguri railway track for more than two hours. The railway track was cleared at around 3:30 pm, Tripathi said. “The police apprehended 12 persons in connection with the incident. The revolver with which the crime was committed has been recovered,” Tripathi added.

Source : Indian Express

Assam Riots : Foreign hand involved in Assam riots, says Tarun Gogoi

August 19, 2012

Guwahati (Assam) : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi tonight said his suspicion that foreign hand were involved in recent violence in the state has been "vindicated".

"From the beginning, I had hinted at the involvement of foreign hand in the riots in the state," he told PTI here.

"The recent Union Home ministry report that Pakistan element were involved had vindicated by stand," he said.

This is a very big issue and the state government alone cannot deal with the situation unless and until the Centre gets involved, Gogoi said.

"I appeal to the Centre to intervene and stem the violence which may be a outcome of the involvement of foreign elements," he said, shortly after Union Home Secretary R K Singh said in Delhi that bulk of the rumours that led to fleeing of north east people from Southern states were sourced from Pakistan.

Source : Economic Times

Cops nab gang of 3 fanatics, which sent hate SMSes in Bangalore

Bangalore (Karnataka) : Director general of police Lalrokhuma Pachau claimed police caught three persons sending hate SMSs and MMSs, after a raid at an electronic shop in Koramangala on Saturday.

He said the investigating team received information that Anees Pasha, 26, who runs a mobile shop called New Fonotech in Koramangala VII Block, started spreading rumours through SMSs and uploading videos electronically to incite hatred against people from the northeast region.

Police raided the shop, arrested Anees and seized incriminating mobile phones, computers and laptops. Anees told police that he and his associates were sending SMSs to a large number of people which wrongly depicted violence in the northeast.

Pachau said the mischief played by Anees and his brother, Thaseem Nawaz, 32, of Platinum Court in BTM I Stage, and an associate Shahid Salman Khan, 22, of Teachers’ Colony in Venkatapura, had resulted in the panic and fear.

The trio was arrested and four mobiles, two computers and one laptop were seized from them. A special team was constituted under DCP (Southeast) PS Harsha, who will supervise further investigation, and will comprise ACP (Madivala) H Subbanna, inspector S Sudhir of Koramangala and Central Crime Branch staff.

"We are unable to give details of recordings of MMS clippings of violence in Assam. But we firmly believe they had partly committed the mischief, that led to the exodus," said a police officer.

A senior officer said the youths caught are believed to have shown clippings of violence in Assam and told a group of northeast youths that they would face a similar fate if they continued to stay in Bangalore beyond August 20.

"We are questioning them about what prompted them to threaten youths of this community. This act, we believe, might have been one of the reasons that set off the panic button among citizens coming from northeast and Assam," said a police officer.

"We found that the youths went around showing the clippings after riots broke out in Mumbai. That might have added to the fear psychosis," said the officer, confirming that investigation into this case is still inconclusive.

Another officer said the team will look into the background of these youths, to check whether they belong to any organization which is trying to destabilize peace in the city.

Source : TOI

Assam Riots : O Hindus, firmly support your Assamese Hindu brethren returning to Assam

August 18, 2012

Alleging that local Hindus from Assam oppressed Anti-India  infiltrators, anti-national groups resorted to riots in Mumbai. These anti-national groups have now started attacking Assamese Hindus settled in other States as also threatening them. As a result, Assamese Hindus from Pune, Bengaluru, Bhagyanagar etc. are returning to Assam. The truth is that the Anti-Indian infiltrators have made it difficult for local Hindus to live in Assam; therefore, thousands of Hindus are staying in refugee camps. Now the Assamese Hindus from the rest of the coutry supporting these Hindus are also being displaced from their present homes by anti-national groupss. This has in a way served the purpose of anti-Hindus to oppress Hindus. The condition of Hindus has become like a cow that tolerates all oppression silently without any resistance. These anti-Hindu butchers overload vehicles with cows, similar is the position of Assamese Hindus. Anti-Indian infiltrators are oppressing Hindus with the help of Congress rulers and in rest of the country, in States like Maharashtra, anti-nationals groups and Jehadi elements are becoming powerful and harassing Hindus because of the yielding policies of Police and Congress Government. 

Hindus should realize that those, who are displacing Hindus in Assam, will send you away too in future !

O Hindus, these anti-national groupss, who are displacing Assamese Hindus, will not hesitate to treat you in the same manner tomorrow; therefore, extend support to Hindus with unity now. Pressurize the anti-Hindu rulers and Police who, have become puppets in their hands, to take stringent action against anti-national groupss. Police are not arresting certain favoured sections even though they have proofs against them. Police have shown bravery (?) of arresting just 23 rioters out of 50,000 rioters to save their face. In short, the Government and Police are supporting rioting anti-nationals. In other small towns, when anti-nationals start rioting, police arrest hundreds of innocent Hindus. This fearsome picture is creating awe amongst Hindus. Hindus should therefore, remember that they need to unite and change this picture.

Source : Daily Sanatan Prabhat

Assam Riots : Violence spreads to more Assam districts

August 17, 2012

Guwahati (Assam) : Assam continued to remain on the boil on Thursday as violence spread to two more districts, Kamrup (rural) and Baksa. Earlier, the violence was limited to Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts.

The trouble in Kamrup (rural) started after a Muslim cab driver was reported missing ever since he had gone to the neighbouring Baksa district under Bodoland Territorial Administered Districts (BTAD) on Wednesday evening to drop some passengers. His vehicle was found torched at Gandhibari in the district on Thursday morning.

Protesting the incident, local residents blocked the national highway at Udiana Chowk near Rangiya in Kamrup (rural) district even as miscreants set ablaze a bus and a wooden bridge at two different places in the district. The missing cab driver, Sahidul Islam, hailed from Rangiya.

The protestors clashed with the police forcing the personnel to resort to lathi-charge. The police then fired teargas shells and blank shots to restore normalcy. Later, the authorities imposed an indefinite curfew in Rangiya sub-division and the army staged a flag march there.

Meanwhile, chief minister Tarun Gogoi appealed to the people of the northeastern states who were fleeing Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, not to panic.

“Some forces are trying to destabilise the Centre and the state government. I do not deny that,” Gogoi told reporters in response to a query. He blamed rumours, being circulated through mobile phones, for the apprehension and resultant mass exodus of people of the northeast from the two south Indian states.

He said he was constantly in touch with his counterparts in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The state government is sending a couple of teams comprising ministers and government officials to the two states. It has also convened an all-party meeting.

Source : DNA

Assam Riots : Fresh violence erupts, NE natives fleeing Indian cities due to threat

Guwahati (Assam) : Days after an uneasy calm in the strife-torn Assam, fresh violence erupted yet again in the western areas of the state.

Two separate incidents of violence were reported in Assam.

11.00 am : In a violence incident, a man was attacked near Kokrajhar. Retaliatory violence was reported as a mark of protest.

10.40 am : Reacting to the fresh violence, BJP President Nitin Gadkari called the development as ‘unfortunate’ and suspected foriegn hand behind the clashes.

10.15 am : According to reports, fresh violence was reported in Baksa distric in Western Assam when police opened fire at the mob on Thursday morning even as BJP slammed the state government for inaction.

It was learnt that police opened fire to disperse mob which had reportedly torched a bus and bridge in Baksa district.

Army has been deployed in Tamalpur area of Baksa district.

"The events happening in Assam are unfortunate, there seems to be a foreign angle to this," Gadkari maitained.

NE Natives attacked and threatened in various parts of India by fanatics, RSS trying to assure security

Pune (Maharashtra) : Attacks on Northeast students residing in Pune continued with four more persons targeted in Kondhwa and Hadapsar on Saturday. The Pune police have arrested nine persons and detained 10 more from Kondhwa in connection with the earlier attacks. Police are also probing into a “doctored MMS clip” being circulated in the city about the riots in Assam, which is suspected to have provoked the miscreants to attack the N-E students.

Till Saturday afternoon, six different cases had been registered in connection with attacks reported on at least 10 persons since Thursday. Inspector Prasad Hasabnis said the police were holding discussions with local leaders to create awareness and tell them that no one from the Northeast living in the city had any connection with what was going on in Assam.

Bangalore (Karnataka) : Nearly 250 swayamsevaks of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) gathered at Railway Station at Majestic, Bangalore offering full security to all North-East Indians. There was a rumour on a probable riot in Karnataka, but RSS, VHP  and State Govt has ruled out this, has assured full support to all North East Indians.

Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) :
There is panic among students and migrant workers from Assam settled in Hyderabad following Saturday’s violence in Mumbai. Many students and migrants are now leaving the city for their hometowns. In a worrisome trend, an estimated 3,000 migrants, all from Assam, who lived in bastis such as Siddique Nagar and Anjaiah Nagar in Hi-Tec City, left for Assam. Most of them work as security guards and housekeeping staff at the many IT firms dotting Hi-Tec City and have left in a rush, many of them leaving behind their belongings.

"We have a complaint from the Assamese community that they were threatened. We are in the process of identifying who threatened them and investigating the matter. We have asked the community members to approach the police if there is any problem. We are also trying to identify the total number of people who have left for Assam," said D Tirumala Rao, Cyberabad police commissioner.

Guwahati (Assam) : Either for being tortured or intimidated by some antisocial elements belonging to a particular community after the BTAD clash, many workers, employees and students from the North East staying in places like Kerala, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune are coming back to the region fearing attack and assault.

Already around 400 Bodo, Koch-Rajbongshi and Adivasi youths, mostly students and workers, have come back to Kokrajhar district and more than 30 Bodo youths have got back in Chirang district after being humiliated by some miscreants in those States following Assam Riots.

Source : Daily Bhaskar, Financial Express, News Live TV and Assam Tribune

Assam Riots : Govt. will make every effort to understand reasons, says PM

August 15, 2012

New Delhi : Expressing sympathy with the families of victims affected by the recent violence in Assam, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, said on Wednesday that his government would make every effort to understand the reasons behind the violence.

Addressing the nation on the occasion of the nation’s 65th Independence Day, Dr. Singh said his government would work had with state governments to ensure that such incidents were not repeated in any part of the country in the future.

"The incidents of violence which occurred in Assam recently are very unfortunate. I know that these incidents have resulted in the disruption of the lives of a large number of people. We fully sympathize with those families which have been affected by the violence," Dr. Singh said.

He added: "We are doing everything possible to provide relief to them. I also promise to you that our Government will make every effort to understand the reasons behind the violence and work hard with the state governments to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in any part of the country."

In July this year, Assam experienced outbreaks of ethnic violence.

As on August 8, 77 people have died and over 400,000 people have been displaced from almost 400 villages, and are taking shelter in 270 relief camps. Eleven people are reported to be missing.

Last month, state Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi blamed the central government for "delay in army deployment to riot-hit areas".

Source : News Track

Assam Riots : 1 dead in fresh violence; toll 72, 15 died in relief camps

August 14, 2012

Kokrajhar (Assam) : In a fresh outbreak of ethnic violence in Assam, suspected Bodo militants shot at four labourers in Chirang district on the Assam-Bhutan border, killing one and wounding three.

All four were returning from Bhutan, and planned to take a train to their hometown of Malda in West Bengal. Shortly after they crossed the border into Assam, they were advised by the Sena Suraksha Bal, a border force, to report to the local police station for their security given the prevailing tensions. But as they were walking towards the police station, two men on a bike pulled up. The pillion rider fired on them with a pistol from point blank range. One of them died on the spot. Two others were wounded, but said to be out danger. The sole survivor fled and managed to find safety in a nearby house. He was later taken into police protection.

Police suspect the role of Bodo militants, especially the faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), which is against talks. The NDFB is suspected in at least two other shootings in this latest cycle of ethnic violence.

Monday’s incident pushes up the death toll to 78. It comes on day when Congress President Sonia Gandhi visited the violence-prone Kokrajhar and Dhubri districts of Assam along with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and assured locals to an end to violence.

Source : NDTV

Assam Riots : Return of Assam refugees will take some time, says Sonia Gandhi

August 13, 2012

Assam : UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday said refugees hit by the recent violence in lower Assam will have to wait for some time for the situation to become calmer before returning home.

"Naturally all refugees want to go back home, but this will take some more time till the situation is a little calmer," Gandhi, who was accompanied by Union Home Minister Sushil Shinde and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, told reporters outside the Titaguri Relief Camp.

"Once feelings are assuaged, the chief minister and others will make sure that they are able to go home," Gandhi said in a brief statement.

Ethnic clashes in Assam have claimed 77 lives.

Gandhi said she asked the refugees whether they were facing any problem in the camp or had any complaints but they they replied they had none.

"The refugees said that they were receiving rations regularly. Only two children were unwell and the doctors will attend to them," Gandhi, who arrived here by helicopter from Guwahati, said.

She was accompanied by Assam Pradesh Congress chief Bhubaneswar Kalita, Bodoland Territorial Council chief Hagrama Mohilary and state ministers.

Gandhi and Shinde are on a day-long visit to trouble-torn Kokrajhar and Dhubri districts. They will visit two relief camps each in both the districts and review the situation with the chief minister.

Gandhi also met 25 delegations from various political parties and civil society organisations and discussed measures to restore peace in the violence-hit areas of lower Assam.

She met Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) chief Hagrama Mohilary, Bodoland Peoples Front, All Bodo Students Union, All Koch Rajbanshi Students Union, All Bodoland Minority Students Union and Bodo Sahitya Sabha besides senior members of district Congress.

"She gave a patient hearing to all delegates and assured them of full support from the Centre to bring peace and amity in the region," Assam Agriculture Minister Nilomoni Sen Deka told PTI. Gandhi visited two refugee camps in Kokrajhar — Titaguri and Devargaon. The UPA chairpersons said that it will take some more time for the displaced persons to return to their homes.

Gandhi and Shinde will visit reflief camps in Dhubri before flying back to Delhi.

Source : DNA

Assam Riots : Hindu Victims say ‘If we go back, they will kill us’

August 11, 2012

Assam survivors fear returning despite Government deadline

Assam : Tension continues to prevail in two of the three recent communal violence-hit districts of Kokrajhar and Chirang where clashes between two communities — the dominant Bodos and Bengali speaking Muslim settlers — have led to 73 deaths and displacement of over four lakh people since July 19.

Kokrajhar and Chirang, which form the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District (BTAD) along with Baksa and Udalguri districts, were severely hit after clashes broke out between the two communities. The violence soon spread to contiguous Dhubri and Baksa districts, bordering Bangladesh and Bhutan respectively.

Although Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi assured that the inmates of the relief camps will be sent home by August 15, few are willing to go home without proper security measures.

“I can go home along with my family but who can guarantee that the attackers will not return. If we go back, they will kill us. Where does the Government want us to go back to ?” asked Gobinda Bodo, a resident of Silbari village, 20 kms off Kokrajhar town.

He further said, “The attackers have burnt my house down. I have neither received any compensation nor has the house been rebuilt, where will I stay ?

The whole village had been burnt by unidentified miscreants on the night of July 23. Bodo who managed to escape unhurt with his five-member family, has been living in the relief camp in Kokrajhar Commerce College since July 24.

The over 1,500 inmates of the relief camp shared similar apprehensions.

The violence in the three districts of Assam — particularly in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts — did not take place overnight. It was, in fact, an outburst of a situation, where demographic change – encouraged by the subsequent Governments for vote-bank politics — threatened the existence of one of the most aboriginal tribes of the State – the Bodos in their own heartland.

The recent clashes in the BTAD is a repeat of the 2008 clash between the two communities in the two northern Assam districts of Darrang and Udalguri, which claimed over 60 lives and displaced over two lakh people. These clashes are also an indication about how fragile the peace is, particularly in BTAD in Assam.

The unabated influx of ‘foreigners’, which was allegedly encouraged by different political parties in power, into the Bodo heartland, changed the land holding patterns and the Bodos felt deprived in their own land which led to a kind of mistrust between the communities.

“The situation will not improve until the Government of Assam takes it up seriously. The Government is only taking short-term measures by deploying security measures and providing relief material to the inmates of the camps. But it must go deep into the problem to end the crisis permanently. It is not a fight of the Bodos against the Bengali speaking Muslims settlers. The Government must understand that the indigenous people are felt threatened due to the demographic changes in the whole of the State,” said Human Rights activist and Chief Adviser of the Indian Confederation of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (ICITP) Jebra Ram Muchahary.

“Influx is one of the main factors behind the clashes. There has been a dramatic change in the land holding patterns in the BTAD. Most of the vacant khas land (lands owned by Government) in BTAD are now filled up by people whom the locals do not know. There are new villages coming up in those areas even today set up by ‘alien faces’ (read Bengali speaking Muslim settlers). The Government has been telling us that there is no influx, but it must also convince us who these ‘new faces’ are which are alien to the locals in BTAD,” said Muchahary.

Promod Bodo, President of the All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU)- one of the most powerful student bodies in Assam – echoed similar sentiments.

“Short-term measures like deployment of forces, relief and rehabilitation cannot solve the problem. The Government must admit that there has been an influx from Bangladesh into the whole of Assam including the BTAD. The political securities of the indigenous people are being threatened due to the influx and change of demographic patterns. If these ‘alien faces’ are not foreigners, the Government must convince us who they are,” he said.

The students’ bodies and other civil society organisations of the minority community have, however, termed the clash as part of a greater plan of the dominant Bodo community to chase the minority and other non-Bodo communities from BTAD. “It’s a conspiracy hatched by the BTC administration to chase us from our homes,” said R Ahmed, a member of the Muslim Yuva Parishad.

After the Army carried out flag marches in all the violence-hit areas from July 25, the  situation improved, but fresh violence started on August 5 with the recovery of more bodies in Kokrajhar.

For people living in the relief camps in Kokrajhar and Chirang, the continued flag march of the Army and deployment of additional central paramilitary forces have failed to instil the much-needed confidence.

While authorities claiming that the situation has improved considerably in Dhubri, the night curfew is still on in some sensitive areas of the district.

Although there has not been any major incident in the past 48 hours, people are still living in fear about the next round of violence, which according to the citizens, might occur any time any where.

Night curfew has been in force in both the Kokrajhar and Chirang districts with a relaxation from 6 am to 6 pm.

Source : Daily Pioneer

Assam riots : 4 more bodies found, toll rises to 71; 15 died in relief camps

Guwahati (Assam) : Four more bodies were recovered today in lower Assam, which witnessed fresh incidents of violence, police said.

"Two bodies, that of a male and a female from the minority community, were recovered from Kokrajhar district, and one each from Baksa and Chirang districts," Assam IGP (law and order) L R Bishnoi said.

He said of the two bodies found from Kokrajhar, one was fished out from Champa river and another was recovered from Gossaigaon area.

"There were certain fresh incidents of violence but the police has taken timely action to prevent escalation," Bishnoi said.

The rival Bodo and Minority communities had planned attacks but intelligence inputs had helped in prempting the violence. They had planned arson in several interior villages but were thwarted by security forces, the IGP claimed.

Curfew is on in all four strife-torn districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Dhubri, he said.

AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh is currently touring affected areas of Kokrajhar today.

The state government has directed the district administration to take stern action to ensure that there is no further outbreak of violence.

Fresh clashes between Bodos and minority immigrants had erupted on August 5 in the lower Assam districts after a relative calm of 10 days.

A CBI team is scheduled to arrive here tomorrow following chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s recommendation for a probe by the central agency, officials said.

A five-member team of Group of Ministers, constituted by the chief minister, visited refugee camps in Dhubri reviewed relief measures and directed the district administration to ensure health and hygiene.

Source : TOI

Assam riots : 4 more killed, toll rises to 67; 14 died in relief camps

August 7, 2012

Assam : Four more persons fell victim to the fresh wave of violence in lower Assam districts, triggering protest by locals who blocked National Highway 31 at Beltoli on the Kokrajhar-Dhubri border on Tuesday.

With four more people being killed, the death toll in the ethnic violence in Assam has climbed to 67.

In the worst-affected Kokrajhar district, three persons were killed and two others injured when some persons opened fire on a group of people at Ranibuli village late Monday night.

The two injured were rushed to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital.

Assam IGP (Law and Order) L R Bishnoi told PTI here that the dead belong to Lakhiganj in Dhubri district.

A group of 500 people blocked National Highway 31 at Beltoli.

Indefinite curfew has been reimposed in Kokrajhar district while round-the-clock curfew continues in neighbouring Chirang district where one more body was found early Tuesday morning. The body was recovered from a field in Rajapara area, senior police officials said.

A few houses were burnt down in Chirang but timely action of police prevented any major violence Monday night, Mr. Bishnoi said. A person has been arrested in this connection.

“Security arrangements are in place to ensure that no more untoward incidents occur,” Assam Police IGP (Bodoland Territorial Area Districts) S N Singh said on Tuesday.

The Army continued flag marches Tuesday morning in the three districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri.

Meanwhile, a five-year-old in the Chhatipur LP School relief camp in Chirang died allegedly due to lack of timely medical attention, camp inmates said. The child had been unwell for the past five days. With this, the number of people who have died in the relief camps has risen to 14.

Source : The Hindu

Assam CM demands CBI probe in Assam Riots

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday said that his government has recommended a CBI probe into the clashes in BTAD and Dubri districts where "internal and external forces were at work".

"I have recommended a CBI probe into the incidents and now it is upto the Centre to take  a final decision on instituting it," Gogoi told reporters.

The chief minister said that "both external and internal forces are at work" and hoped that the probe would identify the forces behind the violence.

On complaints that Bangladeshi migrants were in relief camps, Gogoi said, "We have got reports that people from other states and areas near BTAD are illegally taking shelter in the camps. Their antecedents will be checked and we will not allow rehabilitation of outsiders. Only genuine Indian citizens will be rehabilitated."

He said that illegal arms would be confiscated.

Source : Hindustan Times

Assam riots : 5 more killed in Fresh violence, toll rises to 63

Guwahati (Asam) : After a calm of ten days fresh violence broke out in parts of lower Assam claiming five lives and pushing the overall toll to 63 on Sunday.

Three bodies bearing bullet wounds were found in Chirang and two from Kokrajhar district, where one person is reported missing, police said.

Chirang Superintendent of Police Kumar Sanjiv Krishna said the three – father and his two sons – had left the camp for displaced persons at Kawatika village of Chirang district in the afternoon yesterday and their bodies were found today.

"They left the camp without informing anybody and without any security. Since then they were untraced. Today we found their bodies at Borlangshu village at Chirang district," he said.

Tension prevails in Chirang districts following recovery of the bodies and there are reports of minority community protesting on the streets against the death of the three men.

Inspector General of Police (Bodoland Territorial Areas District) S N Singh said that two more bodies have been recovered from Kokrajhar, while one person was reported missing.

Additional reinforcements of police and para military forces have been rushed to the affected areas, where forces are already deployed since the outbreak of Bodo-Muslim clashes in July, Singh said.

Night curfew continues in Kokrajhar and Chirang, which are part of Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts, and Dhubri, which is outside it.

Source : Zee News

Assam riots: P Chidambaram promises victims rehabilitation and security

July 31, 2012

Guwahati (Assam) : Home minister P Chidambaram has assured victims of the Kokrajhar violence of all possible help, including rehabilitation and security.

After a visit to relief camps in Kokrajhar – the epicentre of the ethnic flare up between Bodo tribals and Bengali-speaking Muslims – and two other camps in Chirang district, the home minister said: "I have assured violence-hit people that the Government of India and Government of Assam will help them rebuild their houses."

He said both governments were geared up to shoulder the task of rehabilitation. In 270 relief camps, there are 4 lakh victims. There were no fresh incidents of violence or death in the last 72 hours.

According to the home ministry, 57 persons were killed and 47,936 families have been affected due to the ethnic clash.

"I have come here to assess the situation at the ground, talk to officers in the field, visit some affected areas and to meet people in relief camps," Chidambaram said.

"All people I have spoken to are anxious to go back to their villages, but naturally they want security and their houses to be rebuilt. I have assured them on behalf of the Government of India and Government of Assam that we will help them in rebuilding their houses and we will provide security in their villages", Chidambaram said.

He said the present concern of the government was to look after people in relief camps, provide them with food, drinking water and medicines.

"Our immediate task is to ensure that peace and harmony is restored, rehabilitation takes place and that confidence comes back and the displaced people are able to go back to their villages," he said.

The ethnic clash, which intensified last week, had engulfed Kokrajhar, Baska, Chirang and Dhubri districts. When asked about the security scenario, Chidambaram said, "a plan is being drawn up for the deployment of security pickets and mobile posts. I have looked into the plan. The plan is eminently doable. It will be put in place and security will be provided to all affected villages." The state government and the Bodoland Territorial Council were capable of taking steps in this direction, he said.

To a question whether people were carrying illegal arms, he said, "what you say is an important thing. It is an arms mine. Whatever will have to be done, we will do that."

The visit came two days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the district and announced a Rs 300-crore relief package. Chidambaram was accompanied by Minister of state for Development of North Eastern Region, Paban Singh Ghatowar, and state transport minister Chandan Brahma.

The home minister also reviewed the situation in Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts with top army and police officials. He will fly to Dhubri district after spending the night in Guwahati.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also went by helicopter to neighbouring Dhubri district and met refugees at Nayahat and Fakirajhar camps in Bilasipara sub-division. Gogoi announced that the next-of-kin of those who died would be given Rs 8 lakh, while the injured would receive Rs 1 lakh and Rs 30,000 would be given to families whose houses were burnt down.

Source : Economic Times

Assam riots : PM announces relief package, call Riots as ‘Blot on India’

July 29, 2012

Guwahati (Assam) : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the kins of those killed in ethnic riots in Assam’s Kokrajhar.

He also announced a special assistance of Rs 300 crore for development of the area.

Assam : PM meets Muslim leaders on Riots issue

Assam : PM meets Muslim leaders on Riots issue

The Prime Minister arrived in Kokrajhar district in an IAF helicopter after the previous chopper he was travelling in flew back to Guwahati following a technical snag.

Visiting Kokrajhar relief camp, where 1509 homeless people are living, the Prime Minister said, "I have come here to share your sorrow and pain. This is a time for healing."

"My government will do everything possible to help the victims. We are here to talk to the people directly," he told reporters.

"This is no time for recriminations, we need to first help the people to rehabilitate and bring peace," the prime minister said, adding that the violence is a "blot on our country".

He said in strong word that the ethnic conflict, which has occurred in the state, is "unacceptable" and "must come to a stop".

Urging people to live together as one nation, the  Prime Minister said, "We are one people and one nation. We must live together as such…I ask all of you to work with the government to ensure this."

Source : Daily Bhaskar

Assam riots: ‘Gogoi blames Congress, why don’t PM reply ?’

July 28, 2012

New Delhi : With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh describing the Assam riots as a ‘blot on the nation’, BJP on Saturday demanded a reply from him on the reported statement by Assam Chief Minister about delay in deploying the army to help curb violence.

The party also accused the Congress of being responsible for the ethnic violence.

"The Prime Minister has gone to Assam and described the Kokrajhar incidents as a ‘blot’ on the nation…We demand a reply from Manmohan Singh that Tarun Gogoi, who is their Chief Minister, has accused the Centre of not sending timely help and forces," BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain said.

Terming the situation in Assam still tense and asking the government to take immediate steps to improve the situation there, Hussain said adding "who is responsible for the Kokrajhar violence? Congress cannot be absolved of its responsibilities."

Charging the Congress-led government at the Centre and Assam with being responsible for the violence, the BJP leader said "the situation in Assam has not come about in a day. It was happening for quite some time. The Manmohan Singh government and Tarun Gogoi government have failed completely."

Source : Daily Bhaskar

Assam riots : 58 killed, 4 lakhs homeless; PM, Sonia visit Assam week after violence

July 28, 2012

New Delhi : A week after the ethnic clashes that claimed 50+ lives in Assam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will visit violence-hit Kokrajhar district in Assam to take stock of the situation on Saturday.

They are scheduled to visit a relief camp at Falakati and eview the situation with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) leaders at Kokrajhar.

Immediately after their arrival, the Prime Minister and he UPA chairperson will go to Kokrajhar by a special chopper.

They are also slated to go to the relief camp in Durabari but some reports suggest that they may not go because a camp was torched and a woman gunned down just a few days ago there.

Both the leaders are scheduled to address a high-level review meeting with Gogoi, state cabinet ministers and top police and army officials.

Home Minister P Chidambaram is likely to visit ethnic clash-hit areas in Assam on Monday to review the security measures there and the steps taken for relief and rehabilitation of affected people.

He is expected to meet top civil and police officers and take inputs from them about the prevailing law and order situation.

He may meet leaders of both Bodo and minority immigrants and visit one or two relief camps set up for those affected by the clashes between the two communities.

Meanwhile, blame game between the Centre and the state government has started over the clashes. Breaking his silence over the allegation of his inept handling of the huge humanitarian crisis, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had questioned the Centre on Friday for not sending the help earlier. "If Centre knew, why didn’t they send Army earlier," Gogoi had asked after being slammed for his inaction.

The Centre gave us no intelligence reports and if the Centre says they did, then why wasn’t the Army sent in earlier," asked the angry chief minister while addressing a press conference here.

Kokrajhar and Chirang, which form the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) along with Baksa and Udalguri districts, were hit severely in the past one week after clashes broke out between the dominant Bodos and the Bengali-speaking Muslim settlers since July 19.

A body was found floating in river Gouranga in Dhubri district on Friday while 11 people were reported missing, official sources said.

In Baksa district, where clashes between minority immigrants and Bodos were reported only yesterday, three houses were set on fire at Simla in Daodhar village, they said. There was, however, no casualty or injury.

In the other three riot-torn BTAD districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri, stray attacks and counter-attacks by the two communities continued.

More than 4 lakh people are forced to live in relief camps. The curfew was relaxed on Friday in Kokrajhar district from 6 am to 6 pm, while it was relaxed from 8 am to 10 pm in the minority-dominated Dhubri district as the Army continued to stage flag marches in Kokrajhar district.

Source : Daily Bhaskar

Assam riots: Violence erupts again; relief camp torched, woman shot dead

July 27, 2012

Guwahati (Assam) : A relief camp was torched and a woman was gunned down in Assam’s Duramari village near Kokrajhar, the epicentre of the ongoing ethnic riots. Death toll has now climbed up to 58 as authorities recovered more bodies. Around 3 lakh people have taken shelter at various relief camps.

The Central government has constituted a 10-member coordination committee to look into the violence in the state. The committee includes critics of the party’s Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who is under attack from all quarters for what is being called his inept handling of a sensitive situation.

Gogoi faced tremendous criticism over his alleged inept handling of a sensitive situation. However, he claimed on Friday that violence will be brought under control soon.

The chief minister, who earlier on Thursday claimed that Assam "is not burning", later on Friday stated, "I am confident that we will be able to control, provide relief. The media is giving a wrong impression."

Meanwhile, a team of Muslim MPs, including Congressmen, met Home Minister P Chidambaram and said they had lost faith in the Gogoi government. "We have lost confidence in the state government and in its ability to control violence. And that is why, we have asked the Centre to intervene. The major problem is how to rehabilitate the people who have fled, how to infuse confidence in the people and take up the rehabilitation system and see they are moved to their places from the camps," Congress MP and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K Rehman Khan said.

Contradictory to Khan’s statement, Digvijay Singh had earlier praised Gogoi for tackling the situation in the state effectively. "Tarun Gogoi and the whole administration tried to control the situation immediately," said Singh before adding, "Tarun Gogoi’s performance should not be judged by only one incident."

A total of 4,200 personnel of paramilitary personnel have reached Assam to help local administration to maintain peace and restore normalcy while 2,200 more security men will be reaching the state by this evening.

Indefinite curfew and shoot-at-sight orders continued in worst-affected Kokrajhar district where 25 persons have lost their lives while night curfew is on in Chirang, which accounted for 15 deaths, and Dhubri where one person was killed.

Source : Daily Bhaskar

HJS demands to foil the attempts of Anti-India infiltrators to capture Assam

Mumbai : Owing to the constant indifference shown by the Central Government towards infiltration by Anti-Indians, these infiltrators have become so bold that they could start riots in the State of Assam. In the riots caused by the infiltrators on large scale, 500 villages have burnt down and more than  3 lakh Bodo Hindus have been displaced, killing 58 persons. Now, at least, the Central Government should look into the matter seriously and try to provide and maintain security for the people of this country. The Central Government should take prompt action against the infiltrators driving them out and rehabilitate displaced 3 lakh Bodo Hindus in their original place. The above demand has been made by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS).

What was the Central Government doing till 3 lakh Bodo Hindus were displaced in Assam? The Congress Government at the Centre is busy in beseeching NCP to retain power which shows that the Government is worried about their selfish interests rather than interests of people of this country.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is saying, “Bangladesh is not involved in this.”  Mr. Tarun Gogoi, the Chief Minister of Assam has, however, said that the infiltrators have modern weapons. Anti-India infiltrators are trying to drive away Hindus and capture Assam in the same manner in which Hindus were displaced from Kashmir. 4.5 lakh Hindus from Kashmir have still not been rehabilitated even after 20 years; therefore, the Central Government should take care that Hindus from Assam do not meet the same fate.

Main demands of HJS 

  • 1. Bangladeshi infiltrators should be immediately driven out.
  • 2. High level Inquiry Committee should be set up headed by a retired Judge and military officer to inquire  into the riots and the Committee should submit its report within one month.
  • 3. Bodo Hindus should be rehabilitated in their original place and be given due compensation.
  • 4. Security on the border of Assam with Bangladesh should be enhanced by erecting fence and constructing wall for protection.

Source : HJS Pressnote

Riot victim Hindus in Assam are not getting proper relief and help : VHP

By Dr. Pravin Togadia, VHP

Over 5 days in sustained & systematic violence against Original Tribes & other Hindus in Assam perpetrated by Anti-India Infiltrators who have settled in Assam, around 1,70,000 people have lost their homes, small little jungle agriculture lands & whatever meager source of income they had. Their houses are burnt, invading ABCDEFs (Word changed on instructions of Central Govt. ! – Editor) have killed men & women, schools are burnt & children are killed as well. Around 1,50,000 people are shelter less, homeless, food-less & are with just one set of old clothes that they wore when being chased away out of their homes & villages.

The attacks on these tribes & Hindus had been happening since past 10 years but in such a way that they were not allowed to be publicized. Today the entire situation has gone out of control & over 50 such tribes there & Hindus are on the verge of collapse only due to invasion of Anti-India infiltrators. Karbi Anglong, Khasi, Bodo, Dimasa, Jaintiya & many such Tribes are worse affected, many lost their bread earners in attacks. Old people are without medicines. Children without even a drop of milk. Shelters that are started by the Govt are housing ABCDEFs (Word changed on instructions of Central Govt. ! – Editor) who claim to be homeless while they are infiltrators. Tribals & Hindus have nowhere to go & staying in some relief camps with no help available.

Source : Samvada

Assam riots live: Relief camps struggling to cope with influx

July  26, 2012

11.47am : Assam’s Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is scheduled to visit Kokrajhar shortly to take stock of the situation in the area where ethnic violence has claimed 41 lives and rendered over 2 lakh people homeless.

Gogoi is expected to meet with top officials of the police and District Adminstration and will take stock of the situation.

Meanwhile with thirteen columns of the Army deployed across Western Assam, there have been no fresh incidents of violence reported in the last few hours. Curfew has been relaxed in Kokrajhar town, for people to be able to buy essential amenities.

11.00am : The influx of villagers into relief camps is increasing, despite the army taking control of the the restive Kokrajhar and other districts that have been witnessing increasing violence in the last few days.

Relief workers said on Wednesday morning they had enough rice and lentils to last in the camps for about a week, but that may change with more people streaming in for shelter.

Officials lifted a 24-hour curfew in the area for a few hours to allow people to collect food.

Officials say that at least two lakh people have already fled to relief camps, and the number is only increasing. Panic-stricken villagers are fleeing to relief camps or wherever their ethnic or religious group is in a majority.

One woman who had gone into early labor was taken by her husband in a pushcart to a camp, where she gave birth to a girl on Sunday. Later, she learned her home had been burned down.

“I am just happy my baby is OK,” said 25-year-old Ela Brahma said Wednesday in the camp, where some 1,000 people were sheltering from the violence.

9.45am : Curfew in the riot hit Kokrajhar district has been relaxed for a few hours, allowing locals to purchase essential amenities. Curfew in the area was relaxed from 8.30am, but will be re-imposed from 12 noon.

Media reports say that the situation in the area is still tense, but no incidents of fresh violence have been reported in the last few hours. The army is conducting flag marches in the area along with a district magistrate.

Meanwhile an all party delegation from the state will visit the riot hit area of Dhubri later in the day.

9.30am : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is set to visit relief camps that are housing tens of thousands of people who have fled their homes in the restive Bodo territories in Western Assam.

Nearly two lakh people have been rendered homeless in the violence and about 125 relief camps set up.

Meanwhile despite a massive increase in military personnel who have been trying to maintain law and order, the death toll has gone up to 40, with the recovery of eight more bodies. Roving bands of rioters are continuing sporadic attacks, ripping apart homes and setting them on fire.

Five more bodies were recovered from Bijni in Chirang district and three from worst-hit Kokrajhar where shoot-at- sight orders and indefinite curfew were in force, police said.

Thirteen columns of the Army were deployed in Kokrajhar, Chirang, Dhubri and Bongaigaon where they staged flag marches accompanied by a magistrate. Defence spokesman Colonel S Phogat said the Army units had identified a number of sensitive and hyper-sensitive areas in the four districts to enable them to better patrol them.

Meanwhile North Frontier Railway spokesman Nripendra Bhattacharjee said passenger and goods trains services had partially resumed as of afternoon and the stalled trains would resume their journey with the ‘improvement’ in the situation.

More than 30,000 passengers, who are still stranded in New Bongaigaon, Kamakhyaguri and New Jalpaiguri stations of the NFR section, have complained of a massive food and water crisis.

Source : First Post

Assam riots continue : 41 killed, CM to visit Kokrajhar relief camps

July 26, 2012

New Delhi : Around 1,000 personnel of the Indian Army continued to stage flag march in the four violence-hit districts of Assam on Wednesday following a clash which has claimed 41 lives.

"13 columns of troops have been mobilised to enforce peace in violence-hit areas of Kokrajhar, Chiranguri, Dhubri and Bongaigaon in Assam. The troops are also carrying out flag marches in these areas and no incident of violence have been reported since yesterday," Army said in Delhi.

These 13 columns have been equipped with riot control gear to meet all eventualities, the officials said.

"Three columns have been put on reserve to meet any eventuality," they said.

Besides conducting anti-riot drills, Army troops are also carrying out regular and routine counter terrorism and counter insurgency (CI/CT) operations in these areas.

"Most of these areas are infested with terrorism and insurgent groups are still active there. We have to ensure that the situation does not escalate there while keeping out CI/CT drills intact," they said.

Round-the-clock curfew with shoot-at-sight orders have been clamped in several areas of Assam after 41 people were reportedly killed in the violence. On the sixth day of the ethnic violence, the number of people packed into relief camps reached 180,000 even as train services resumed in the disturbed areas.

Early on Wednesday, rioters fired on a group of people, killing three. Apart from this, three bodies were found in Chirang district and two in Kokrajhar.

However, in Chirang no fresh outbreak of violence was reported through the day, showing signs of some improvement in the law and order situation.

An estimated two lakh people from these four districts have fled their homes following ethnic violence during last few days.

Over 120 relief camps have been established by the state government in several areas for around 70,000 people who have left their villages in search of a safe place.

These camps are being guarded by central paramilitary force (CPMF) personnel round the clock to ensure the safety of people there.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is likely to visit Kokrajhar relief camps today.

Several meetings were being conducted by the state government to assess the situation in these areas and security forces have been asked to remain on high alert.

Of the 27 camps in Kokrajhar, 21 are being used by Bodos and five by Muslims. The remaining one is occupied by others. Of the 33,517 people residing in these camps, 26,117 are Bodos, 5,700 Muslim and 1,700 others. This just gives the magnitude of the scale of human suffering.

Source : Daily Bhaskar and The Hindu

Assam riots live : Relief camps have no medicine or security ?

12.44pm : The government has opened more than 100 relief camps to facilitate tens of thousands of civilians who have fled their homes in fear of violence in Western Assam. However the conditions at relief camps are reportedly far from desirable.

A Times Now report from one of the relief camps noted that there were no medical facilities available despite there being a number of ill people present and also said that there was still a sense of insecurity amongst the people there since there were no security personnel on hand available to protect them.

11.07am : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has accepted full responsibility for failing to protect the people of both the Bodo and Muslim communities in Western Assam, but has ruled out any possibility of stepping down.

“Do you think I should run away? I am a general fighting in a war. I am the last man to resign. If I resign I have to do so subsequently, not now”, said Gogoi in comments to CNN IBN.

Earlier Gogoi accepted that he had failed to provide full protection to the people in the state, but said that he expected the situation to improve in another three to four days. “This is a temporary setback. I will restore full confidence in me. I have done it before”, he added.

10.25am : Six Border Security Force companies are now in Assam and were scheduled to reach the Kokrajhar district in a couple of hours. However troops are reportedly finding it hard to proceed due to heavy rainfall. An additional 14 companies dispatched to the state by the Ministry of Home Affairs are expected to get to Assam by evening.

Apart from the Border Security Forces, the Home Affairs Ministry has sent in an additional 15 companies of other paramilitary forces comprising roughly 3500 men in total. Troops already deployed in the restive areas have commenced flag marches in three of the worst affected districts in the Bodo territories.

Meanwhile the state government has set up 151 relief camps to facilitate the tens of thousands of people who are leaving their villages to escape violence.

10.14am : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said that he does not expect any food shortages in Assam despite the fact that the violence has severed road and rail links connecting the narrow neck of the northeast to the main body of India.

Meanwhile troops have killed five people who were believed to be engaged in rioting. “We have decided to tackle the riots with a firm hand,” Gogoi said.

Gogoi said earlier that some rioters were using firearms.

Meanwhile RS Moosahary, a Bodo who is governor of nearby Meghalaya, said his hometown in Assam was set on fire during the violence.

“I’m deeply anguished,” he said.

9.33am : With communal violence in Assam leaving some 25,000 train passengers stranded, the central and Assam governments have been urged to provide security so that train services can resume.

A total of 37 trains have been halted at various states due to clashes between Bodo tribals and Bengali speaking Muslims.

Officials said efforts were on to arrange for food and water for the stranded passengers.

Railway Minister Mukul Roy has made a request for additional security to Home Minister P Chidambaram and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, an official statement said.

Roy said the train services had been crippled on a 54-km stretch between Srirampur and Salakati railway stations in Kokrajhar district.

According to the ministry, 26 trains have been cancelled with another 37 halted at various stations.

9.15am : A delegation from the Ministry of Home Affairs has reached Assam, even as escalating violence has claimed 11 more lives in the restive Bodo territories. The Special secretary internal security, and additional secretary MHA, Northeast, have reached the Kokrajhar district which has witnessed the worst violence so far.

An All party delegation of Assam are also scheduled to visit affected areas in Kokrajhar later in the day.

Meanwhile 13 columns of army troops have been conducting a flag march in 3 districts of the state from 8.30am.

The violence has spread in and around the Kokrajhar district all the way to the Bengal border, forcing the Centre to rush 1,500 more paramilitary personnel to control the unrest that has claimed 32 lives so far.

Seven more bodies were recovered in the Kokrajhar and Chirang districts.

Police firing has also claimed four lives. “Four persons were killed in police firing this morning when they were indulging in violence in Rampur and Chaparkata areas of Kokrajhar,” IGP, (BTAD), S N Singh told PTI

As new areas came under the grip of the ongoing clashes that began last week between Muslim immigrants and Bodos, the state government sounded alerts in Sonitpur, Baska, Kamrup (rural) and Darrang districts, official sources said.

Nineteen people have lost their lives in worst-hit Kokrajhar district and nine in Chirang in the clashes while four have been killed in police firing in Rampur and Chaparkata areas of Kokrajhar.

One body was recovered from Odlaguri, the home village of Meghalaya Governor Rajendra Prasad Mooshahary, under Gossaigaon sub division of Kokrajhar district while another was found from neighbouring Chirang.

At least 26 trains were cancelled and 31 stopped at different stations, prompting Railway Minister Mukul Roy to seek enhanced security from the Home Minister for the safety of over 30,000 passengers stranded midway.

Yesterday, shoot-at-sight orders were issued in Kokrajhar district and indefinite curfew clamped while night curfew was in force in Chirang district.

Source : First Post

Hindu-Muslim Assam riots continue; 32 dead, 1.5 lakh homeless

July 25, 2012

Guwahati (Assam) : With sectarian strife raging in more areas of Assam’s three districts on Wednesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has ordered six companies of the Border Security Force (BSF) to reach the affected areas. The Centre has also rushed 1,500 more paramilitary personnel to control the unrest that has claimed 32 lives so far.

In an attempt to assuage the situation, at least 13 columns of the Army have started conducting flag march in Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Chirang and Bongaigaon.

Troops are finding at difficult to move because of heavy rainfalls there.

All party delegation of Assam assembly has started visiting the affected areas. A MHA team has also reached the state.

Nearly 1.5 lakh people have been rendered homeless in ethnic clashes that started between Bodos, who are tribals, and Bengali-speaking Muslims in Kokrajhar district of lower Assam on July 19. There is no official word on what triggered the violence, but dispute over land may have been one of the reasons.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi held a late night meeting of cabinet and alleged that the incident was a "part of political conspiracy" to malign his government.

A worried Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had urged Home Minister P Chidambaram and Defence Minister AK Antony to rush more paramilitary forces and troops to end the savagery.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi called up Gogoi to know the latest situation. An estimated 40,000 people have fled their homes looking for safer areas.

"The Prime Minister has directed him to do everything possible to control the situation and for relief and rehabilitation of the affected," a PMO spokesperson said.

On Tuesday, security forces gunned down four miscreants in Kokrajhar, pushing the death toll in the two districts to 32, authorities said.

"Four persons were killed in police firing this morning when they were indulging in violence in Rampur and Chaparkata areas of Kokrajhar," IGP, (BTAD), S N Singh said.

As new areas came under the grip of the ongoing clashes that began last week between illegal immigrants and Bodos, the state government sounded alert in Sonitpur, Baska, Kamrup (rural) and Darrang districts, official sources said.

Shoot-at-sight orders and an indefinite curfew have been imposed in the worst-hit Kokrajhar district. In Chirang, a night curfew has been clamped from 6 pm to 6 am.

Miscreants continued to set fire to houses left vacant by thousands who have fled to safer areas. The fire brigade and security forces struggled to put down dozens of fires.

"Incidents of violence are taking place mainly in the interior areas of the districts. About 60 villages, mostly abandoned, were burnt by miscreants in the two districts," said another official.

The violence has also spread to Dhubri district bordering Bangladesh. The police opened blank fire there on Tuesday to contain unrest.

In Dhubri, curfew has been imposed in some "sensitive areas" including Gouripur, Golakganj, Bilasipara and Chapar.

The three districts – Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri – share a contiguous landscape. While Dhubri is bounded by Bangladesh in the south, Kokrajhar and Chirang border Bhutan.

More than 40,000 people have abandoned their homes and taken shelter in relief camps set up by the district administration.

According to official sources, the violence started July 19 after gunmen attacked two student leaders in Magurbari Thursday.

Following this, four former Bodo militants were shot dead.

Both the communities then began attacking each other, accusing each other of orchestrating ethnic cleansing.

Assam’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nilamoni Sen Deka and Revenue Minister Prithibi Majhi were deputed by Chief Minister Gogoi to visit the troubled spots.

Director General of Police Jayanta Narayan Choudhury yesterday reviewed the security scenario with police officials.

Railway officials said the running of several trains had been severely affected. All inbound and outbound trains were halted at various stations between Guwahati and Alipurduar.

This has left thousands of train passengers stranded in the state.

At least 26 trains were cancelled and 31 stopped at different stations, prompting Railway Minister Mukul Roy to seek enhanced security from Chidambaram for safety of over 30,000 passengers stranded midway.

Some miscreants attacked the Guwahati-bound Rajdhani Express at Gosaigaon Tuesday, forcing the authorities to take the train back to Alipurduar.

On Tueday, the railways cancelled 11 express trains from Guwahati to Delhi and other parts of the country. All trains from Guwahati to other parts of the country have to pass Kokrajhar, as the station is located on the strategic Guwahati Delhi main railway line. This is also true for any train coming into Guwahati.

This route, a section of which branches out to Kolkata beyond Assam, is the only one that connects Guwahati to the rest of the country. The only other way for passengers, is to take unaffordable flights, or to travel by roads.

At the Guwahati railway station, the assortment of those spending the night is unique. From Naga students who were heading to Bangalore for jobs, to groups of CRPF Jawans who were heading to Delhi to report to their new companies after a transfer, all of them now face the prospect of endlessly waiting at the Guwahati station till train traffic is restored.

Assam has had had a history of ethnic clashes with the worst being witnessed in the nineties in Lower Assam and the North Bank of Brahmaputra that saw more than two lakh people from all communities being displaced. While some have returned to their homes, others are still languishing in relief camps.

In 2008, violence erupted again, with inter-community clashes claiming lives and destroying property

Source : Daily Bhaskar

Assam riots Live: State minister stopped from entering Bodo area

July 24, 2012

9.00pm : In a shocking allegation, Team Anna member Akhil Gogoi said that the ongoing ethnic violence in the BTAD areas might be a conspiracy to divert attention from the recent molestation incident in Guwahati.

“I appeal to all people in general to maintain peace and calm. After all this might be a conspiracy to divert attention from the recent molestation case in Guwahati,” Gogoi told reporters in New Delhi.

8.17pm : Bijni Sub-Divisional Police Officer resigned from office saying that he was unable to control riots.

6.37pm : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to Times Now

“It is a serious concern. I have asked security forces to deal with the miscreants firmly. We have received no confirmation on involvement of any militant group in the violence so far,” Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told Times Now in Guwahati.

Explaining the reasons behind the clashes, Gogoi said, “Clashes are happening due to clash of interest. It is not an infiltration issue completely.”

5.19pm : BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman on Assam violence

“The violence in Assam is completely communal. The prime minister being a MP from Assam should immediately issue a statement. It is a problem of illegal migrants. No minister has reached the affected areas. The ministers are being biased to a particular community. Congress should bury its communal agenda. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is trying hard not to call the violence communal but we know it is so as informed by our team vising the state today,” Sitharaman told a press conference in New Delhi.

“Thousands have people have been rendered homeless and facilities in the temporary camps are inadequate,” she said.

5.00 pm : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday spoke to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi asking him to “monitor the situation closely” and to “ensure safety of people”.

4.45pm : A special home ministry team will be rushed to Assam to assess the security situation.

4.30pm : One of the two ministers, Assam Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka who was rushed this morning to the Bodo areas to take stock of the violent situation in BTAD has been obstructed by thousands from entering the area.

4.25pm : The national highway – 31, which connects the North East India with rest of the country is blocked by thousands at Bartala in Chirang district affecting traffic.

4.04pm : Activists from the All Bodo Students’ Union have blocked railway tracks at Kojkrajhar in Assam. Many trains are stopped at different stations for security reasons.

3.10pm : The Centre as per the request from the Assam government has issued orders for more army deployment in the violence affected areas.

3.05pm : A 300-strong minority group is demonstrating in front of the Assam Bhavan in New Delhi demanding the scrapping of the BTAD. The group is also shouting slogans against Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

3.00pm : The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked for the additional deployment of 24 troops to Assam’s Kokrajhar district. Reports just coming in say that the MHA has commissioned a further 24 companies, which translates to 2400 additional men. The troops will be deployed to the towns of Dhubri and Chirang which saw violence erupting overnight.

Meanwhile a BJP delegation led by Vijay Goel will visit Assam to see the situation for themselves. Will report to BJP High Command on Kokrajhar

2.55pm :
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi says that the state is monitoring the situation, and confirmed that nearly 50,000 people had fled their homes in the restive Kokrajhar district. “We are taking the situation very seriously. Troops have been deployed”, he said.

However Gogoi also expressed confidence that the situation would be brought under control in another 2-3 days.

2.45pm : Home Secretary RK Singh has assured the Assam government that the centre would help maintain law and order in the state. He said that the MHA was in touch with forces and lawmakers in the state. Singh added that he had also spoken to the leaders of Bodos and Muslims in the state.

Meanwhile at least 18 trains are stalled at various stations across the state, and in North Bengal because of security concerns. Trains would have to pass through the restive region in order to pass through the state.

2.30pm : Bodoland Territorial Council chief Hagrama Mohilary said that minority people from outside are creating tension in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts.

“Muslim migrants are crossing the Brahmaputra from different places like Dhubri, Bilasipara, Golakganj and even from Bangladesh and entering the BTAD areas,” Mohilary said.

“There might be extremists elements. We definitely need more forces. Army presence is a must or even BSF or SSB,” he said.

1.30pm : The DGP of the Assam police Jayanta Narayan Choudhury says the situation is under control.

“The situation is tense but under control. Forty companies are already are here. Fourteen are on the way. Force is not a problem. The Central government will provide us with as much force we need,” he said in an press meet.

The riot situation was building up gradually in the ethnically sensitive Bodoland Territorial Administered Districts (BTAD)—Kokrajhar, Baska, and Chirang barring Udalguri in Assam—since the beginning of July. The police were slow to anticipate trouble and still slower initiating action to quelling the flare-up. Nineteen people have lost their lives so far and people are still fleeing their homes for safety.

“On 6 July two persons from the minority community were killed. Again on 19 July, another two persons people from the minority community were found dead. These two incidents were indicators of what would follow. Yet in both the cases, police failed either to identify or nab the culprits,” Pramod Boro, president of All Bodo Students’ Union, told Firstpost in a telephonic conversation.

12.00pm : The Guwahati-bound Rajdhani Express was stone pelted at Gossaigaon in Kokrajhar district damaging four coaches, though there was no casualty or injuries, North East Frontier Railway sources said in Guwahati.

The train was taken taken back to Kamakhyaguri station bordering West Bengal, and may be taken to Coochbehar.

Source : First Post

Assam : Riots between Anti-Indias & Natives; 20 killed, thousands flee homes

July 24, 2012

Guwahati (Assam) : At least 20 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in the eastern Indian state of Assam over the weekend in clashes between indigenous Assamese Bodo tribes and Muslim immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh.

The disturbances have also led to an estimated 50,000 people fleeing their homes from the state’s western Kokrajhar district to take refuge in relief camps.

The violence reportedly erupted on Friday night when four youths of the Bodo tribe were killed by persons unknown — in retaliation, armed Bodos attacked Muslims, which led to a spiraling of bloodshed between the two groups who have long been in conflict. In the carnage, cars were overturned and burned, and houses and schools were set ablaze.

"The situation is tense, and more security forces are being sent to far-flung areas," Assam’s Inspector General of police S.N. Singh told the Associated Press.

"There are fresh reports of houses being set ablaze in several places in Kokrajhar district. Reinforcements have been rushed to the areas, and the situation is gradually coming back to normal.”

Assam, located on the extreme northeastern edge of India, is home to some 300 tribal and ethnic groups, with many segments of the population agitating for separatism. In this volatile mix is unwanted Muslim migrants from impoverished Bangladesh.

The Bodos are one of Assam’s largest indigenous tribes — they have fought not only with Muslim migrants, but battled the state of India in a bid to gain an independent state through a decades-long insurgency.

Illegal immigration from overcrowded Bangladesh presents challenges for all of eastern India, which shares a porous border with the smaller nation.

Since the 1971 war of independence that created the state of Bangladesh, millions of Bangladeshi immigrants (the vast majority of them illegal) have poured into neighboring India.

While the Indian government has tried to deport some of these immigrants, their sheer numbers have made such an enterprise impossible.

Assam-Bangladesh Border Fence.

It is difficult to assess how many illegal immigrants are currently residing in India. Consider that in 1971, during the civil war in neighboring East Pakistan (the former name of Bangladesh), at least 10 million Bangladeshis poured into West Bengal in India. The majority of those migrants were Hindus fleeing persecution (rape, murder, forced conversion, etc.) from Muslims.

In subsequent years, the bulk of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh were Muslims seeking to escape poverty.

India’s Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran said last summer that almost 1.4 million illegal Bangladeshis have migrated to India over the past decade alone.

Ramachandran described the illegal immigration from Bangladesh as a "big problem" and that the government is dealing with it.

Indian Army in Assam

India’s army moved in to stop armed clashes over land between settlers and local villagers that have killed at least eleven people in India’s remote northeast over the past two days, police said Sunday.        

Two days of battles between the ethnic Bodo community and Muslim settlers also injured at least 10 people in Kokrajhar district, nearly 250 kilometers west of Gauhati, the state capital, said S.N. Singh, a police inspector-general.

The clashes in Assam state began Friday after assailants killed one person. As the violence spread to more than half a dozen villages in the region, nearly 7,000 people fled their homes and took refuge in state-run relief camps, Singh told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Native Bodo Children of Assam

State authorities called in the army and imposed a night curfew in the region on Saturday to quell violence. No fresh clashes have been reported since Saturday night.

The soldiers have been patrolling the violence-hit region, Singh said.

Animosity and accusations of land-stealing have long simmered between Bodos and the thousands of mostly Bengali Muslim settlers, many of whom came from the former East Pakistan before it became Bangladesh in 1971.

The two groups have clashed sporadically since 1990s and burned each other’s homes and property, state officials said.

Source : International Business Times

Assam : Thousands flee after riots between Hindus and Anti-Indias

July 24, 2012

Guwahati (Assam) : Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in the Indian state of Assam following weekend clashes that killed at least 17 people, police say.

The fighting was between indigenous tribes people and Muslim settlers in the state’s Kokrajhar district.

There have been tensions between indigenous groups and Muslim Bengali migrants to Assam for many years.

The state is sandwiched between China and Bangladesh and is only joined to the rest of India by a 22km corridor.

Officials in Kokrajhar district told the Reuters news agency that about 50,000 villagers fled their homes in riot-affected areas to take shelter in nearby relief camps.

He said that 37 camps had been set up to help displaced people and more would be opened if needed.

Police say that the clashes began when unidentified men killed four youths on Friday night in Kokrajhar district, an area dominated by the Bodo tribe.

They say that armed Bodos attacked Muslims in retaliation, suspecting them to be behind the killings.

Soon afterwards unidentified groups set houses, schools, and vehicles ablaze, police said, firing indiscriminately from automatic weapons in populated areas.

The violence is reported to have spread to other areas, including nearby Chirang district.

Police told the AP news agency that they had discovered some bodies with machete wounds that had been left in the jungle or along roadsides or river banks.

"The situation is tense and more security forces are [being] sent to far flung areas," Assam’s Inspector General of police SN Singh told reporters.

Businesses, offices and schools were closed on Monday, and streets were deserted.

Source : BBC

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