Dhubri/Kokrajhar, Aug. 4: A crude bomb was recovered from a biscuit packet in Dalsingher-Alga Lower Primary and Middle English School relief camp in Dhubri district this morning, sparking tension in all the 134 relief camps in the district.
The scare came on a day the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) demanded military action against Bangladeshi infiltrators to safeguard the citizens of the country and the Ranjan Daimary faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) urged the government to address the root cause of the recent clash in Assam and solve the foreigners issue permanently.
Sources in Dispur said the riot toll had gone up to 61 with a body recovered from a well in Kokrajhar district today. An Adivasi village was also attacked in the district this evening. “One person was injured. We are keeping a close watch,” one of them said.
Jahangir Ali, 33, an inmate of the relief camp that has been housing around 800 inmates for the past 10 days and is about 9km from Gauripur town, said they were taken aback to see the bomb in a tobacco product container when the biscuit packet was opened. “We immediately informed the village defence party, which informed the police. It is the handiwork of forces trying to create more trouble in the district,” he said.
The Dhubri district social welfare department has supplied biscuit packets at the camp but an official denied having supplied the brand of biscuit from which the bomb was recovered. Dhubri district social welfare officer T.K. Thapa said they had supplied packets of Sunfeast biscuits. “How can I tell you who supplied these (other brand) biscuit packets?” he added.
Dhubri circle officer Mrigesh Narayan Baruah said it looked like a crude bomb without any wire or detonator. “Investigations are on and those involved will be arrested soon,” he added.
Dhubri additional SP Prasanta Dutta said it looked like a firecracker with gunpowder and nails inside. “The motive behind doing so is to create panic in the trouble-torn district.” In Kokrajhar, VHP general secretary Pravin Togadia urged the people of Assam and the country to stand together against infiltration from Bangladesh and demanded immediate deportation of Bangladeshis.
Togadia said no Muslim should be resettled in any village without updating the National Register of Citizens.
He said the Union and state governments had allowed Bangladeshi infiltration into Assam, other northeastern states and the rest of the country “only for votes” and that there were constant alerts about these infiltrators’ links with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), Indian Mujahideen (IM) and others.
“Since the past 15 years, Bangladeshis have been systematically carrying out ethnic cleansing and territorial encroachments. Tribes like Karbis, Khasis, Jaintias, Bodos and Dimasas have been facing loss of life, land, livelihood at these invaders’ hands, but the government has protected the invaders and left the original citizens of India to die. It is a national shame that the original tribes have to live in relief (camps),” he said.
Togadia said Assam was fast becoming Kashmir, which has undergone a change in demography. He alleged that the border had been kept open despite influx warning.
In a release issued today, B. Samijing, assistant information and publicity secretary of the Ranjan Daimary faction of the NDFB said mere rehabilitation and sealing of the Bangladesh border was not a permanent solution.
“The government needs to address the root cause of the clash and solve the foreigners issue permanently,” he said, adding that the tribal land should be restored to the indigenous people.
The NDFB alleged that the clash “was politically engineered and motivated”.
“It is pathetic that sons of the soil have to be refugees in their ancestral land while foreigners get protection and patronage from the state machinery,” the release stated.
“The genuine Muslim citizens should be allowed to live with dignity but illegal migrants must be deported back to where they belong. The government must update the NRC before the refugees are rehabilitated. The cut-off date of 1971 for NRC agreed upon in Assam Accord of 1985 must be followed in letter and spirit,” the release stated.
The NDFB said the government should not rehabilitate the inmates of refugee camps before checking for illegal migrants or citizens of different districts. “Giving a deadline for rehabilitation will aggravate the situation rather than solving it. Instead, we fail to understand why the governments of Assam and India cannot issue a deadline to illegal migrants for leaving the country,” it stated.
The group hailed finance minister P. Chidambaram (who was the home minister when he toured the affected areas) for saying that there was an unabated flow of illegal migrants from Bangladesh and usurpation of tribal land by them was the main reason of the clash. “We commend his guts to call a spade a spade, while our so-called leaders of the state are in denial mode and are using all means to legalise their citizenship,” the release stated.
The NDFB group expressed dissatisfaction over the security arrangements in relief camps, especially in the Bodo camps. It added that there was more security in the Muslim camps.
“Why is there this discrimination even in providing security? This kind of act on the part of a secular state does not augur good for the unity and integrity of the country. This will further alienate one community from the other,” Samijing said.