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Absu deposes, blames migrants

Army personnel patrol the streets during a curfew in Kokrajhar. File picture

Guwahati, July 9: All Bodo Students’ Union president Promod Boro today told the commission probing the 2012 riots in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District that they suspected the involvement of illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

Boro deposed before the Justice (retd) Mutum B.K. Singh inquiry commission along with six other Bodo leaders at the Circuit House here.

The commission had begun its hearing yesterday, over 19 months after it was set up by the state government to probe the 2012 riots that left 114 people dead and displaced nearly four lakh people.

Boro said encroachment of land belonging to indigenous people was an important reason for conflicts in the BTAD and the issue must be seriously addressed to avoid 2012-like violence. “According to Assam government records, there are illegal migrants but since it does not specify where they live, we suspect there are illegal migrants in the BTAD too. We told the commission that we suspect the involvement of illegal migrants in the 2012 riots,” Boro said soon after coming out of the hearing.

Boro has been leading a lengthy campaign for making the BTAD free of illegal arms and for peaceful resolution of conflicts. He told the commission that the government’s failure to solve issues triggering ethnic movement had resulted in mistrust among groups, which at times led to violence. “Lack of sincerity in addressing the issues of ethnic movement creates mistrust. These issues should be addressed properly. There should be sincere efforts to seize the illegal weapons still present in the BTAD. Besides the victims of violence should be rehabilitated properly.”

Boro hoped the state government would take steps recommended by the commission. “We have seen how reports submitted by commissions set up to suggest measures to solve issues are shelved instead of taking proper steps based on their recommendations,” he said.