Assam Riots – A aspect of Problem


Assam is home for over 81 Lakhs Muslims, who comprise over 31 % of the total population. Most of these Muslims are illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh and they display a huge array of vices that have been troublesome for the local population of Assam. There have been cases of land encroachments, loots and killings.

Situated on the northern banks of the river Brahmaputra , Bodoland includes the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) , which is administered by the non-autonomous Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC). The territory consists of four districts , viz. , Kokrajhar , Baksa , Chirang and Udalguri , with Kokrajhar serving as the capital.

Tension among immigrants and locals has always prevailed in the region.

2 Years ago , immigrants wanted to build a toilet for a Madrassa inside the premises of a Kali temple in a village named Howriapet, located in Gosaigaon sub-division. The local people of the region got together to protest against this audacious decision, when 2 Bengali boys who were a part of the protests, were brutally murdered by the immigrants.

 

In another incident from the same area, a Muslim boy tried to rape a girl , he was caught by people from the village and thrashed. In the mean time, his fellow religion arrived and as punishment, they beat him again, which lead to his death. Now, to save themselves, they blamed the villager for the boy’s death and ransacked not only that village but also many adjacent villages. Local people suffered once again.

3 months ago , again in Gosaigaon , immigrants burnt down Adivasi homes after a minor quarrel in a bazar.

As a result, an undercurrent of tension always prevails because of the unjustified aggression of the immigrants. These immigrants are getting support of various organizations such as MULTA-(Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam), AMSU – (All Minority Student’s Union), a new fraction (ABMSU) has been created to cater to the immigrants in Bodoland region (All Bodoland Minority Student’s Union). These organizations are also getting government funds to run their activities.

A few days ago, immigrants encroached upon forest land in Fakiragram and put up a signboard calling it an Idgah. The locals, miffed at the illegal possession of forest land and asked them to give it up. The immigrants backed by the ABMSU, started large scale agitations against the locals.  Meanwhile, there has also been dissent among the members of the ABMSU and the AMSU.

On 19th July,  Mohibul Islam president of the ABMSU with his colleague Abdul Siddiq Sheikh were shot at by two unidentified gunmen riding a bike. The incident took place in a village called Magurmari , located 3 Kms from Kokrajhar town. Amazingly, both Islam and Sheikh were shot under the kneecap only. This incident indicates that there was confrontation among the two student’s unions. It is also to be noted that Mohibul Islam has many impending cases against him, which includes charges of rape and smuggling.

As expected the immigrants found another opportunity to blame Locals for their own problems, and this time the Bodos earned their ire. On the evening of 20th July, a mob of immigrants murdered four persons from the Bodo community. They were butchered beyond recognition and that was the trigger for what has now turned into a dangerous riot.

Further, an old Brahma Mandir , a very revered place of worship for the Bodos was burnt down in Onthaibari , Gosaigaon. The immigrants have been exceedingly vicious throughout the entire episode. They even tried to snatch guns from the police and an OC was hurt during an altercation with a mob. 400 immigrants had gathered with arms to charge towards Kokrajhar, despite a curfew being imposed. The police took charge of the situation and a major disaster was averted.

The violence has spread to Dhubri as well, where immigrants burnt down a boys hostel. Immigrant’s aggression has taken a complete anti-local turn and people from all communities are suffering because of them. People belonging to other religions haven’t been spared either. A mob even attacked the Rajdhani express train on 24th July. A lot of trains have been cancelled and thousands of passengers have been left stranded in various stations.

The violence has spread to over 400 villages in the BTAD region. Houses have been burnt down and abandoned houses looted. As of now, 32 people are dead and over 2 lakhs people have been rendered homeless. To make matters worse, the violence has spread to other parts of Assam now.

People have to live in Refugee camps in their own country because of hostiles from a foreign land. The conditions in the Refugee camps are extremely poor. Food supply is scarce, there are no medicines available and if that was not enough, the security in the camps is highly lacking. The centre has deployed 29 companies of Para-Military forces to take control of the situation, which is turning extremely hapless by the day.

It is high time that the local people in the region , irrespective of their community , come together and make sure that these illegal immigrants and hostile aliens are put to their original place, so that such incidents don’t occur again.

It is a gathered information from various sources…

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