July 31, 2012

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 Bangla Deshi 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 Muslims 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.

These are the original tribes on Assam who have been living in the hills there for ages without damaging environment, instead, making our culture rich with their wonderful art, music, dance, paintings & simple eco-friendly life-style. For the past many years Bangla Deshi infiltrators invaded Bharat from North Eastern borders, encroached upon these Tribes’ lives, lands & livelihood pushing them more & more away. Govts for obvious vote politics reason helped the Bangla Deshi infiltrators & left the Original Tribes from Assam in the lurch. To hide the truth from the nation Govts tried to paint this crisis as Bodos Vs Muslims, but it is Non-Muslims (including Hindus, Christians, Tribes etc) Vs Bangla Deshi infiltrators whom Govt use as big vote bank.

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 Muslim invasion of Bangla Deshi 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 Muslims 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 between Bodos and Muslims 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.


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 Bangladeshi Muslims & 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 : Internation Business Times

Assam : Thousands flee after riots between Hindus and Bangladeshi Muslims

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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