Root of Muslim & Non Muslim violence in BTAD, Assam

published on August 8, 2012

Assam is famous in history as being one of the few regions that was never conquered by the Mughals. The mighty Ahoms managed to thwart every single intrusion by the Islamic armada. The same region is home to over 81 Lakh Muslims now, 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 highly troublesome for the indigenous population of Assam. There have been rampant cases of land encroachments, loots , forced conversions and killings. Like most areas in Assam, Bodoland hasn’t been spared from the aggressive grasp of Muslims either.

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 its capital.

Tension among Muslims and Non-Muslims have always prevailed in the region. Two years ago, Muslims 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 entire Hindu society of the region got together to protest against this audacious decision, when 2 Bengali Hindu boys who were a part of the protests, were brutally murdered by the Muslims.

In another incident from the same area, a Muslim boy forced himself inside a Hindu house and tried to rape a girl, when he was caught by people from the village and thrashed. In the mean time, his fellow Muslims arrived and as punishment, beat him again , which led to his death. Now, to save face, the Muslims blamed the Hindus for the boy’s death and ransacked the entire village and many adjacent villages too. Hindus suffered once again. Three months ago , again in Gosaigaon , Muslims burnt down Adivasi houses after a minor quarrel in a market. As a result, an undercurrent of tension always prevails because of the unjustified aggression of the Muslims.

They are further backed by the Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA) , a terrorist organization and also by the All Minority Student’s Union (AMSU). From  AMSU , a new fraction was created to cater to the needs of Muslims of the Bodoland region only and was termed as the All Bodoland Minority Student’s Union (ABMSU).

This ABMSU is the main culprit behind the current situation in Assam. A few days ago, Muslims, staying true to their land grabbing nature , encroached upon forest land in Fakiragram and put up a signboard calling it an Idgah. The locals, rightfully miffed at the illegal possession of forest land, asked them to give it up. Used to getting their way, the Muslims, 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, 2 members of the ABMSU , its president Mohibul Islam and his colleague Abdul Siddiq Sheikh were shot at by 2 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. It was as if the gunmen wanted them to go through the most bearable of all gunshot wounds ! The entire episode indicates that the shooting was a result of the confrontation among the two Muslim student’s unions. It is also to be noted that Mohibul Islam has many impending cases against him that includes charges of rape and smuggling.

As expected the Muslims found another opportunity to blame Non Muslims for their own problems, and this time the Bodos earned their ire. On the evening of 20th July, a mob of Muslims brutally murdered 4 men 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 Anthaibari , Gosaigaon. Naturally , the Bodos retaliated after this.

The Muslims have been exceedingly vicious through out the entire episode. They even tried to snatch guns from the police and an OC was hurt during an altercation with a Muslim mob. 400 Muslims 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 Muslims burnt down a hostel for Hindu boys. Muslim aggression has taken a complete anti-non Muslims turn and people from all communities are suffering because of them. People belonging to other religions haven’t been spared either. A Muslim mob even attacked the Rajdhani express train on 24th July, one Manipuri student was killed. A lot of trains have been cancelled and thousands of passengers have been left stranded in various stations, all because of Muslim hostilities. The violence has spread to over 400 villages in the BTAD region. Houses have been burnt down and abandoned houses looted. As of now, according to administration 63 people are dead, hundreds of villages are burnt and over 4 lakh people have been rendered homeless. To make matters worse, the violence has spread to other parts of Assam now, specially in BTAD area.  People have to live in Refugee camps in their own country because of hostiles from a foreign land. And 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. Centre has deployed several companies of Military & Para-Military forces to take control of the situation, which is turning extremely hapless by the day.

A)   Attack on Government Official on duty to relief camps :-
Incidents of attack by the people of minority community in relief camps to the govt. officials as follows:

1)    On 24th July, 2012, a group of all party MLA delegates were attacked by Muslim refugees in relief camp at Sarbhog.
2)    On 21st July,12, Western Range DIG Shri Surendra Kumar’s convoy was attacked by Muslim refugees in Kodaldoha relief camp near Fakiragram under Kokrajhar District.
3)    On 24th July, 12, Magistrate Shri Bipul Saikia was attacked by Muslim refugees of Kashipara relief camp 7 km from Kokrajhar at the time when Assam Chief Minister was present in Kokrajhar Town.
4)    On 24th July,12, Agriculture Minister Shri Nilmani Sen Deka blocked by more than 3000 Muslim refugees at Bortola on National Highway 31, near Dhaligaon, under Chirang District.

B)   The statement uttered by some renowned persons as follows:

1)    BTAD Chief Shri Hagrama Mohilari, on 24th July,12 blamed all the Bangladeshis who came from neighboring country Bangladesh for the present turmoil in Assam and demanded immediately sealing of Indo-Bangla Border. He also alleged that local Muslim have informed the people from outside, particularly Bangladesh, who entered the area and were instigating the local people to indulge in violence in Kokrajhar District. He expressed possibility of ferrying arms and ammunition to the state through Dhubri by the Brahmaputra River by Bangladeshis.

2)    The Pro-talk ULFA leader Shri Mrinal Hazarika supported BTAD Chief Hagrama Mohilari’s statement as ‘true’ and demanded the sealing of boundary alleging the involvement of Anti-India Forces from the neighboring country. He also alleged that a particular community in the state seeking the help of another particular community from outside for carrying out the communal violence in the BTAD. According to him one of the three boats, full of arms and ammunition reached by Brahmaputra through Dhubri District and other two will be reaching soon form Bangladesh. He also suspect the involvement of MULTA and Pakistani ISI intriguing the clashes in the BTAD.

3)    The President of All Boro students union, Shri Promod Boro had called for sealing of the border with Bangladesh and the inter-district boundary between Dhubri and Kokrajhar to check influx into the BTAD through Dhubri.

4)    The AASU also supported the demand of Shri Hagrama Mohilary for sealing the Dhubri-Kokrajhar border and told the Chief Minister to make public his decision on Mohilari’s demand.

5)    BTAD Dy Chief Shri Kampa Bargoyary on Friday said the influx from Bangladesh was the main cause of ethnic violence between the Bodos and the Muslims. He also said that massive influx from Bangladesh has out numbered the indigenous population and threatened their political and Socio-economic situation. He alleged that both state and Central Government had failed to protect people living in the tribal belts and he blamed the All Bodoland Minority Students Union (ABMSU) for the situation.

6)    Meghalaya governor Ranjit Sekhar Mooshahary, a former IPS officer, who once headed the National Security Guards (NSG), also blamed that the Assam government was unable to prevent the communal clashes despite having prior indications. He said, “Several houses in our village were set ablaze by an armed mob just before noon. Even paddy fields with standing crop were destroyed. This happened despite the presence of a police picket near an LP school in the area. Police has been very ineffective,” (Mooshahary’s native village Odlaguri in Gossaigaon subdivision of Kokrajhar came under miscreants’ attack & burned in broad daylight on Tuesday.)

7)    BJP National General Secretary Vijay Goel has also demanded sealing of the border to check entry of illegal immigrants and thereby, trouble, ‘The congress government has failed to check influx’ he said.

It is high time that Hindus 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. If the government fails to settle the longstanding illegal immigrants issue with immediate effect. Such incidents will further escalate to other area where indigenous populations of the state is confronting and tolerating the vices of these infiltrators for decades.

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