ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Explaining the Latest Round

Massacre in Assam

The recent violence in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts highlights the faulty model of the BTAD, where the minority Bodos rule over the majority non-Bodos. The government needs to urgently review the BTAD model, curb the proliferation of illegal weapons, and ensure equal rights and opportunities to all socio-religious and ethnic communities in the area.

Post-independence Assam has been constantly witnessing violence in many forms. Assam is a region inhabited by several socio-religious communities (SRCs), which include people from various religious and ethnic tribal groups, many of them with their own languages, writing systems, traditions, etc. “Apodictically the society in Assam has transformed very distinctly into a notoriously violent society without any tangible sign of abnegation. Violence has been an inseparable part of Assam’s social and political development since independence” (Hussain 1995). The continuous violence in western Assam since 1987 remains a major concern for the people of this region, and beyond.

The bloodbath in areas of the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD), which began on 1 May and continued for two days, once again iterates that the model of BTAD is a seriously faulty one, needing rectification at the earliest. In the past five years, 3,500 riots have been reported in the BTAD region (The Assam Tribune, 11 May 2014). The recent massacres started with an attack on a local journalist, who is also the president of the Kokrajhar Press Club, whom the assailants considered a supporter of the independent candidate Hira Saraniya from Kokrajhar Lok Sabha constituency. Fortunately, the journalist survived the attack, although he did sustain several injuries. The attack was carried out a mere 5 km from Kokrajhar district headquarters. Within two hours of the attack, the first massacre of this series started in village Narasinghagaon under Govardhana police station, Baksa district. Heavily armed miscreants carrying AK-47 rifles gunned down four villagers, severely injuring two children. The attackers successfully fled the scene after wreaking havoc in the village.

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