After one of the worst ethnic clashes in the recent memory that saw lakhs displaced in western Assam, Hindu and Muslim right-wing outfits are spreading their tentacles in the state through fundamentalist ideology in the name of relief, rehabilitation and social work.
“We are really concerned as close to 12 Muslim and three Hindu right-wing outfits are working at a feverish pace to build up and expand their support base by taking advantage of the increasing polarization between ethnic communities,” government sources said.
“The scale at which these groups are operating is an eye-opener. Unless such activities are curbed, fear of bad times for Assam and the entire nation looms large.”
In August, the violent clashes between indigenous Bodos and settlers of suspected Bangladeshi origin in west Assam resulted in the loss of close to 90 lives while lakhs were displaced. Most of the displaced are housed in cramped relief camps in Kokrajhar and Dhubri.
Till date except in isolated cases, no Assam youth had been found to be involved in pan-India terror modules outside the state.
“The situation may change in the near future as we suspect talent hunting for anti-national activities,” the source added.
Most of the right-wing Islamic outfits are from south India while Hindu outfits are mobilising in places like Guwahati, Silchar and Cachar.
In west Assam, the ‘work’ at the moment comprises rehabilitation and relief for the riot-affected, cash donations, and house-building activities.
Interestingly, among the people belonging to fundamentalist outfits who have visited the relief camps include well-heeled private sector professionals.
In the aftermath of the violence, reminiscent of the anti-foreigner Assam agitation (1979-1985), the state’s indigenous people have stepped up demand for deportation of foreigners, which was promised in the Assam Accord of 1985 but till date has not been delivered.