Rebel groups' hand in Assam clashes
Quite different from the July carnage, the latest spate of violence in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) area is an attempt by organised groups to engineer widespread violence by igniting pent-up passion among ethnic groups. Sanjib Kr Baruah reports.delhi Updated: Nov 17, 2012 02:03 IST
Quite different from the July carnage, the latest spate of violence in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) area is an attempt by organised groups to engineer widespread violence by igniting pent-up passion among ethnic groups.
"Unlike last time when people belonging to different ethnic groups attacked each others in a frenzied manner, this time it seems to be a planned attempt to induce widespread violence," said an Assam government official.
HT had earlier reported about concerns in the intelligence circles because of the 'feverish pace of work' of 12 Muslim and three Hindu right wing outfits among the riot-hit people ostensibly to expand their support base by using the increasing polarisation between ethnic communities.
"This is why people who have been involved in peace and reconciliation efforts are being targeted," he said.
Six people have been killed in recent incidents in the last six days. In July, as many as 90 people were killed in the deadly clashes in the BTAD areas.
"Unlike the group clashes in July, the incidents are isolated and sporadic in nature this time and with roots in crop harvest disputes," said JN Choudhury, DGP, Assam Police.
Both officials admitted that the clampdown on illegal arms will have to be more effective.
"Earlier, we had focused only on sophisticated weapons but now we will undertake cordon and search operations and confiscate all sorts of weapons," Choudhury said.
Organised militant groups such as the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, a Bodo insurgent outfit which has two factions - a pro-talk and an anti-talk one - operate in the troubled BTAD. Known for its expertise in using improvised explosive devices, NDFB has weapons such as AK 47 and AK 56.
BTAD was set up in 2003 after a bloody movement by Assam's largest tribal community for a separate state. Bodos have for long been expressing anger over the increasing presence of Muslims of Bangladeshi origin in the BTAD.