Assam: Ethnic Clashes!

The news story that I am going to cover today discusses about the existing riots in Assam, India. We will start analyzing the situation with a brief introduction to the background story leading to this hostility. This violent outburst is basically a result of the ethnic tensions between the Bodo community of Assam and the East Bengali Muslims who migrated to the north-east during the British Raj or before and during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. The Bodos claim that the Bengali Muslims are illegal migrants because this immigration has not been official in most cases. The continuous ingress of the Bangladeshi refugees left the tribes of Assam feeling insecure culturally, socially and politically. The citizens feared of becoming the minority in their own state. This made them retaliate against the outsiders which has turned the situation more hostile over the years. This forms the background of the Assam riots, 2012.

EXISITING ISSUE:

According to NDTV, two Bengali-speaking Muslim settlers were killed in early July, followed by two more killings on July 19. Following this, on July 20 four ex-Boro Liberation Tigers cadres were shot dead. The police failed to identify the killers, which according to some reports were mischief makers who knew exactly what could be the consequences of these murders. The situation started turning worse leading to more and more ethnic clashes between the Bodo tribals and the Muslim minority.  Armed factions from both communities inflamed the dispute by setting residential houses and public amenities on fire. The sensitive BTAD(Bodoland Territorial Administered Districts) comprising areas like Kokrajhar, Baska, and Chirang have been the most affected.

On 23 July, the Rajdhani Express was stopped at the Kokrajhar railway station for hours by activists from the minority community. The severity of the situation can be assessed keeping in mind the statistics that claim:

More than 4,00,000 people have fled their homes. They are now living in refugee camps.

As of 27 July, about 58 people had already been killed in the riots and hundreds were injured. On 6 August 2012, three more persons were killed and two others injured in fresh violence that erupted in Kokrajhar district, bringing the death toll to 64.

The government has not been able to calm down the situation primarily because necessary steps, investigation and peace-making were not carried out in the initial stages of this outbreak. No time frame has been set by the government to indicate when these riots would be controlled or the circumstances would get better.

The Assam riots issue is too detailed to study and comprehend. The following links might be useful to you to get an in-depth analysis of the report.

http://www.ariseindiaforum.org/assam-riots-real/

http://news.oneindia.in/feature/2012/assam-riots-roots-too-deep-for-indian-state-1-1041175.html

http://www.firstpost.com/india/assam-riots-violence-was-in-the-air-but-govt-missed-the-signs-388471.html

We hope that the officials move into the right direction and put an end to this deadly conflict. The riot-affected people are stuck in a wretched state of affairs. Increasing day-to-day disputes lead to a higher death toll and a rise in displacement of people from a normal and happy life.

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