India Bodo militant attacks: Bodies of 6 Muslim kids recovered as toll rises to 50 in Assam

May 4, 2014 | By | Reply More

May 04, – The recovery of nine more Muslim bodies on Saturday in the restive Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) region took the death toll in Assam’s latest episode of communal violence to 50.

hromedia India Bodo militant attacks Bodies of 6 Muslim kids recovered as toll rises to 50 in Assam intl. news2Thirty people – 22 in Baksa and eight in Kokrajhar – have been arrested in connection with the violence that started with the murder of a family of three at Narasingbari village by heavily armed assailants on Thursday.

Centre sends help Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi blamed the militant outfit NDFB (Songbijit), which has been demanding a separate homeland for Bodos, and said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been tasked with the probe into the incident.

The Centre has dispatched 10 companies (approximately 1,000 personnel) of central forces to Assam, with additional teams to be sent as required, the PMO said.

Six Army columns have also been deployed in Kokrajhar and Baksa, the two Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) at the centre of the bloodshed.
Alleging atrocities by Bodos, as the BPF is in power in Bodoland Teritorrial Council, 19 non-Bodo organisations extended their support to Sarania. Among the over 15 lakh voters in Kokrajhar, only 6 lakh are Bodos.

With four Bodo candidates in the fray, Brahma’s victory depended on the support of the region’s 9 lakh non-Bodo voters, of which four lakh are Muslims, mostly immigrant settlers from Bangladesh.

The open support offered by Muslims to Sarania became a flashpoint on April 24 – the day of polling in Kokrajhar – when a mischievous SMS in Bangla began circulating. It read: “EVMs have a strange wire. You press the torchlight (Sarania’s poll symbol) button but nangol (the wooden plough of BPF) blinks”.

Provoked by this, irate minority voters attacked polling booths in Balapara and Harbhangra, killing one policeman and injuring another. BSF platoons opened fire to disperse a group of 40 people. Seven people were gunned down at Balapara.

A week later, on April 30, BPF leader Pramila Rani said Brahma could lose because 80 per cent Muslims had voted for Sarania.

If Brahma actually loses on May 16, this would be the first time a non-BPF MP will represent Kokrajhar since the party was formed.

Also, the election for the BTC is next year. There are fears among the Bodos that losing the LS polls would encourage non- Bodos to team up and grab power in the Bodoland Territorial Council.

Assam DGP Khagen Sarma echoed CM Gogoi’s fears that the killings were the handiwork of NDFB (Songbijit), which on Saturday denied any involvement in the killings. But Badaruddin Ajmal of the AIUDF, the largest Opposition party in Assam, alleged the murder was BPF vendetta against those who didn’t vote for Brahma.

The Congress on Saturday accused the BJP of playing communal politics and said its prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi stood for “Model of Dividing India”.

Responding to Modi’s recent remark that the Congress was faithful to the ‘RSVP’ model, Union minister Kapil Sibal said: “‘M’ for Model, ‘O’ for Of, ‘D’ for Dividing and ‘I’ for ‘India’. That spells Modi – Model of Dividing India. This is his trademark and this has been the policy of BJP ever since 1984 when they got only two seats in Parliament.”

“Whenever they (BJP leaders) find that their chances of acceptability are at its nadir, they play the communal card,” Sibal said, alleging that polarising the electorate has been a strategy of the BJP.

“Advani did this by launching the Rathyatara. BJP played communal card by being instrumental in demolishing the Babri Masjid. Modi did this by polarising the polity in Gujarat… In preparing for 2014, Modi wanted to play the same communal card, which had brought success to BJP in the past,” Sibal claimed.
Press journalist for HRO media – Saurab Nag, contributed to this report.

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Category: International

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