Guwahati, 2 May-2014, (Kajal Sarkar, Raju Basumatary, Nandan Sharma): Post-poll violence in western Assam districts administered by the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) claimed 23 lives since Thursday night. All the victims were Muslims, allegedly targeted for voting for a non-Bodo independent candidate Naba Kumar Sarania alias Hira Sarania for the Kokrajhar seat reserved for scheduled tribes.
Army personnel keep a vigil in a street in Kokrajhar district. (PTI Photo/Files)
The violence is being attributed to MLA Pramila Rani Brahma’s April 30 view that Muslims did not vote for the candidate put up by Bodoland People’s Front – it rules BTC and is an ally of the Congress – implying this could see a non-Bodo bag the seat for the first time. In June-July 2012, violence between Bodos and Muslims claimed 108 lives. It is mentioned that Smt Pramila Rani Brahma recently said that they would support BJP in central government formation although they are a coalition partner in Congress Government in Assam.
This is the photograph of 4 years old Farida Begum who was brutally gunned down by Bodo militants in Balapara Village 1 in Kokrajhar district of Assam.
Khagen Sarma, director general of the Assam Police, said militants of the anti-talks faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) were behind the killings.The attacks were reported in Kokrajhar and Baksa, which collectively form the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) along with Chirang and Udalguri.
“Militants of Sangbijit faction of the Ndfb were behind the violence last (Thursday) night,” Sarma said, adding 20 companies of paramilitary forces will arrive in the state over the next two days to maintain law and order.
“Firm action will be taken against those involved in the incidents.
The All Bodoland Minority Students Union (ABMSU) condemned the attacks, saying it would carry out democratic protests in BTAD if the administration failed to book the culprits within 24 hours.
“The attack is a handiwork of BPF cadres. They realise the BPF will face defeat in the elections in Kokrajhar,” alleged Ibrahim Ali, ABMSU leader in Baska district.
The Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), which eyes political empowerment of the indigenous tribe, has fielded candidates in two seats including Kokrajhar in the 2014 elections. Assam has 14 Lok Sabha seats.
Another ex militant BPF leader and Rajya Sabha member Biswajit Doimari Denying the charges as said “We do not believe in violence… It was the failure of the security forces that they couldn’t protect the victims.”
In the first major attack on Thursday, 8 people, including two women and two children, from four families were killed when armed men opened fire on them in Balapara village under Gossaigaon sub-division in Kokrajhar district. A man who sustained injuries in the attack died at a local hospital on Friday morning. A body of a youth was also recovered around 6:30am.
In Baska, three people, including a couple and a child, were killed in an attack on Narasingbari village but 3 more injured people died in Hospital. Amid a big confusion between the Baska district administration and the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital — where some of the injured have been admitted, reports came in that another child died at the health facility on Friday. The Baska administration even announced compensation for the child identified as Tasleema Khatun.
Another another attack on Muslim villagers in Narayanguri under Gobardhana Police Station in Baksa District of Assam a little before 18:00 hrs this evening. It has just got confirmation from the Deputy Commissioner, Baksa that 10 people have been killed in the incident and at least 40 houses are burnt. Casualties may rise further.
Ex MLA and Congress leader Abdul Khalque demand immediate arrest of Pramila Rani Brahma and other organizations support his demand for peace. Some organizations direct blamed these fresh killing of Muslims directly influenced by the right wing Sangh Pariwar.
Still waiting more details of today’s attack and house burning in BTAD,Assam.