Assam legislator arrested for role in ethnic violence
An MLA of Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF), which is an ally of the ruling Congress in Assam, was arrested in the wee hours on Thursday for his alleged involvement in the recent violence in the state.
Pradeep Brahma, alias Gara, who represents Kokrajhar (West) constituency, was arrested from his house at Dotoma near Kokrajhar town at about 1am as seven cases had already been registered against him in several police stations.
BPF is the ruling party of the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District (BTAD) whose chief is Hagrama Mohilary.
Following the arrest and on Wednesday's violence in neighbouring Dhubri district in which two persons were killed, indefinite curfew was clamped in Kokrajhar district.
Army staged flag march even as Brahma's supporters started picketing on the railway track and national highway 31.
More than 80 persons have lost their lives and four lakh were rendered homeless in the violence in lower Assam districts of Korajhar, Dhubri and Chirang. Epicenter northeast
Displaced Bodo tribals have started returning home from relief camps in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts, but Muslims living in temporary shelters in Dhubri district are staying put.
According to Assam government figures, the number of relief camps in Kokrajhar has come down from 90 to 54.The number of inmates of the relief camps in Kokrajhar and Chirang has come down from nearly 3 lakh in the last week of July to 1 lakh now. Assam violence, not a communal problem?
Government authorities have, however, managed to close only six relief camps in Dhubri, a Muslim-majority district bordering Bangladesh. Nearly 1.5 lakh people are still living in 133 relief camps in Dhubri. Only 29,000 people have left the relief camps in Dhubri.
The falling number of relief camps in the three western Assam districts wracked by violence since July 20 is giving the state government hope of peace returning.
Even Bodo leaders seem to agree. “People came to relief camps in Kokrajhar and Chirang out of fear. Now that the situation has started to improve, they are leaving the camps,” Pramod Boro, president of All Bodo Students’ Union, said on Tuesday.
(With PTI and HT inputs)
Assam ethnic strife: the factors