Two prominent Bodo outfits on Saturday declared that Muslim migrants displaced in the ongoing Assam violence won't be allowed to return to their homes unless the state government identified foreigners in the region by taking 1951 as the cut-off year.
“The migrants will not be allowed to enter Bodoland Territorial Council areas if the government doesn’t update the National Register of Citizens by taking 1951 as the cut-off year and detects foreigners,” said Gobinda Basumatary, leader of the pro-talks faction of the militant National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
The announcement made by NDFB and the People’s Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement prompted the Assam government to put security forces on alert. “No one will be allowed to take law into their hands. We will ensure peace and harmony at all cost,” said chief minister Tarun Gogoi.
An estimated 2.5 lakh Muslim migrants — alleged to be Bangladeshis — have fled western Assam’s Kokrajhar and Chirang districts ever since the communal clashes broke out on July 20. They are living in relief camps, mostly in the Muslim-dominated Dhubri district sandwiched between Kokrajhar and Bangladesh.
The Bodo outfits warned Lok Sabha MP and perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal not to enter Bodoland and accused him of fanning communal tension. They also renewed the demand for a state for Bodos, the largest tribal group from the plains in the Northeast.
Earlier known as Bodo Security Force, the NDFB was formed in 1986 for ‘sovereign Bodoland’. The outfit is estimated to have 2,000 armed members, many of whom live in designated camps.
Most members of the outfit are Christians.