Assam riots: Fault shifts from BJP to new Muslim outfit
Days after Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said BJP elements active in Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) areas might have triggered the Bodo-Muslim clashes in the state, a disbanded Bodo tribal militant organisation has shifted the blame to a newly floated radical Islamic outfit.india Updated: Aug 02, 2012 01:02 IST
Days after Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said BJP elements active in Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) areas might have triggered the Bodo-Muslim clashes in the state, a disbanded Bodo tribal militant organisation has shifted the blame to a newly floated radical Islamic outfit.
The ruling Congress has also chided the pro-Muslim All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) for inciting the minority Muslim community elsewhere in Assam.
Disbanded outfit Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) – whose leaders rule the BTC and share power with the Congress in Assam — has accused the United Muslim National Army (UMNA) for the conflict that killed 60 people and uprooted 460,000 in Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts since July 20.
Intelligence officials have sketchy information about UMNA. The police in BTC said it was formed on June 15 with the objective of creating a Muslim self-rule territory comprising 13 districts of Assam, including four under the council for Bodos.
“The conflict actually started on July 19 after unidentified miscreants fired at and injured two persons at Magurmari in Kokrajhar district. One of the injured was Mohibur Islam, the chairman of UMNA,” said Janomohan Muchahary, secretary of All Ex-BLT Welfare Society.
Claiming Islam was a “known anti-social” who was discharged from the local police force, Muchahary said he led a mob comprising UMNA members who vandalised the houses of Bodo families to incite the communal violence on July 20.
The All Assam Minority Students’ Union dismissed Muchahary’s “preposterous” claim, blaming the violence on BTC chief executive member Hagrama Mohilary instead.
The Congress and AIUDF – who vie for the 30% Muslim votes in Assam — have meanwhile accused each other of trying to fan Muslim anger across Assam’s conflict zone and beyond.