| Muslims shout slogans during a protest rally in New Delhi on Wednesday against the recent violence in BTAD. (Reuters) |
|Bodos at a sit-in at Jantar Mantar in
New Delhi. (PTI)
|Bodo women at a relief camp in Assam’s Kokrajhar district. (PTI)
Kokrajhar/Dhubri, Aug. 8: The Bodoland People’s Progressive Front (BPPF) today asked the Centre to constitute a high-level judicial inquiry commission to probe the riots in Assam’s Bodo belt and rubbished allegations of ethnic cleansing.
Next door in Dhubri, CRPF’s Rapid Action Force was deployed after some traders and roadside vendors opened their shops this morning in wards 5 and 7 in violation of curfew.
Talking to reporters today, former Rajya Sabha MP and BPPF adviser U.G. Brahma said the violence was related to social, economic and political issues.
“The investigation has to be more inclusive. So we have asked the Centre to constitute a high-level judicial inquiry commission headed by a retired Supreme Court judge.”
Brahma said the need of the hour was a complete institutional mechanism to study the root causes of the conflicts that have become a regular feature in Assam since the 1950s.
“Conflicts are a regular phenomena in Assam. The present conflict is not an isolated case. It is a reflection of the continuous process of communal conflicts in Assam. So the government of India needs to put in place a complete institutional mechanism to ascertain the root causes of this situation in Assam and how to root out these causes. Or else this will continue.”
Brahma said the demand for dissolution of Bodoland Territorial Council might lead to more chaos. “The demand itself is very provocative and many lead to more trouble and a chaotic situation. Such a demand will lead the Bodos to revolt again.”
Brahma also rubbished the allegations of ethnic cleansing, saying, “It is totally baseless and self-contradictory. The Oboro Suruksa Samiti are saying that Bodos have now been reduced to only a 20 per cent minority population, with the remaining 80 per cent being non-Bodos. So how can a mere 20 per cent population carry out ethnic cleansing of the remaining 80 per cent? It is very contradictory and a deliberate attempt to send a wrong message to the world community. It is a part of an anti-Bodo conspiracy hatched by a section of people under the Oboro Suraksa Samity.”
Police sources in Dhubri said the New Market shopkeepers and roadside vendors started opening their shops this morning despite warning by CRPF jawans. When the security personnel forcefully tried to enforce curfew, mobs tarted hurling stones at them. Dhubri superintendent of police Pradip Chandra Saloi and additional superintendent of police Prasanta Dutta rushed to the spot and called in the Rapid Action Force and army to bring the situation under control and enforce curfew.
Saloi said the security personnel tried to reason with the vendors to close their shops and return home, as curfew was in force. “But when they defied the curfew and tried to take on the security forces, RAF and army were called in. No one will be allowed to break the law.”
A section of New Market traders and vendors of wards 5 and 7 said there was no need to impose curfew because the situation in Dhubri town was calm. Later, the curfew was relaxed from 1pm to 10pm and will be re-imposed from 10pm tonight to 1pm tomorrow.