May 2014 Assam violence

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2014 Assam violence
Part of Insurgency in Northeast India
IN-AS.svg
Location Assam, India
Date 1 May 2014 (2014-05-01) – 3 May 2014 (2014-05-03)
Weapons AK 47[1]
Deaths 33 and 3 suspects[2][3]
Suspected perpetrators
National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit faction)[4]
Motive Not voting for Bodos[5]

From the night of 1 May 2014 until the early morning hours of 3 May a series of attacks occurred on the Bengali speaking Muslims in Assam, a north-eastern state of India. The perpetrator is unknown, but is suspected to be the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) of Songbijit faction.[3][6] Speculated to be revenge for not voting for NDFB in the Lok Sabha elections,[5] the death toll reached 32.[7]

Background

The Bodos are an indigenous tribe in Assam state of India. It is about 10% its population of 44 million people. Insurgency in Northeast India is ongoing for decades involving several rebel groups. In 2012, violence between Bodo tribal people and Muslims resulted in 108 deaths. In India, Loksabha election is ongoing which will conclude its last phase on 12 May and the results will be declared on 16 May.[2]

Attacks

Around 07:30 PM IST on 1 May, insurgents raided the Narsingbari village of Baksa district opening fire on a house, killing three women and injuring two others. The attackers had arrived on bicycles. On early hours of 2 May, another group of insurgents opened fire at three houses in Balapara village of Kokrajhar district, killing seven people. On the evening of the same day, another group killed 12 people and burnt down 30 thatched houses near Baksa's Manas National Park.[5]

On 3 May, four suspected insurgents attacked police in the forest near Tejpur. Police fired in retaliation which killed two while two other escaped. Police also killed one more suspect in Udalguri district from whom they recovered a revolver and a hand grenade.[2]

Investigation

Police arrested 22 people along with eight forest guards to investigate their involvement.[2] The Assam Government has decided to hand over the probe to National Investigation Agency.[8]

Aftermath

Security measures

Due to the attack, several Muslims from Duramari and Dotoma region of Kokrajhar district fled their houses. Bodoland Territorial Council chief Hagrama Mohilary pacified the panicked people and promised them of security.[5] Curfew was clamped in Kokrajhar, Baksa and Chirang districts and shoot-on-sight orders have been issued in Kokrajhar and Baksa.[3]

Army stages out flag marches in sensitive areas of Kokrajhar and Baksa districts.Ten additional companies of CRPF was moved to the two districts. Strong action against NDFB has been initiated by the home ministry of India.[5]

Union Home Ministry deployed 43 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces while Defense ministry also deployed 15 columns of the Army comprising approximately 1,500 soldiers.[9]

Responses

Chief minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi reviewed the situation with top government officials. The opposition political parties blamed the Gogoi-led government in failing to protect lives despite intelligence alerts.[3]

Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh condemned the attack and termed it as a cowardly attempt to spread fear and terror.[10]

In a statement, NDFB (Songbijit) denied their involvement in the attack and claimed it was conspiracy by the state government to create communal friction between Bodos and Muslims.[4][11]

Relatives of the killed urged the Chief minister Tarun Gogoi to provide affirmation of security for their lives and stalled the last rites for those dead. They also complained of pressure from local authorities to conduct funeral rites for the killed.[12]

References

  1. ^ "Twenty-two Muslims killed in sectarian attacks in Assam". Reuters. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Police kill 3 Assam sectarian violence suspects, arrest 8 forest guards". Hindustan Times. 4 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "30 killed in 36 hours by Bodo militants in Assam, curfew imposed". Indian Express. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "NDFB denies involvement in violence". Business Standard. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Rebels kill 23 in Assam for not voting for Bodos". Times of India. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Assam live: 30, including children, killed in fresh attacks". Firstpost. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Death toll up to 32 in Assam". DNA. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Assam Riots 2014: Assam Government hands over Case to NIA". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Assam violence act of certain group cadres: Sushilkumar Shinde". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Prime Minister condemns Assam attacks as toll rises to 28". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "NDFB denies involvement in violence". DNA. 4 May 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Locals in violence-hit Assam refuse to bury dead till Tarun Gogoi visits them". DNA. 4 May 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
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