|Vehicles of BPF cadres set on fire at Merkuchi village in Baksa district on Wednesday night. Picture by UB Photos
Kokrajhar, April 17: Leaders of Bodo groups today moved chief election commissioner V.S. Sampath to ensure free and fair elections in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District on April 24 following sporadic incidents of violence in the area over the past few days.
A two-member delegation, comprising All Bodo Students’ Union (Absu) president Pramod Boro and United Democratic People’s Front (UDPF) working president Bhramon Baglari, met Sampath and election commissioner Hari Shankar Brahma today and submitted a memorandum, apprising them of the volatile situation in the BTAD — especially in Baksa and Chirang districts.
The UDPF represents the Absu, Bodoland Peoples Progressive Front, United Democratic People’s Front and the People Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement.
The delegation urged the Election Commission to seize all illegal arms and keep a strict vigil on the movements of Bodoland Territorial Ccouncil (BTC) chief Hagrama Mohilary, who is also the president of Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), and his party workers. The memorandum accused Mohilary and the BPF of creating trouble and fanning violence.
A seven-member delegation of the BPF and Bodo National Conference (BNC) also met the chief election commissioner today and submitted a memorandum. They complained against Independent candidate Urkhao Gwra Brahma, accusing him of violating the model code of conduct, and demanded that his candidature be cancelled.
The memorandum, signed by Mohilary, BNC general secretary Kampa Borgoyari, BNC secretary Anjali Daimari and others, alleged that Brahma was using cadres of NDFB (Progressive), which has a ceasefire agreement with the government, and the Absu and taking help from Hitesh Basumatary, the sitting MLA of Chapaguri constituency. Despite complaints of intimidation to the authorities, no action was taken, it added.
Brahma is the consensus Independent candidate of Absu and its allied organisations like the BPPF, UDPF, PJACBM and the NDFB (P). He has filed a complaint with the chief election commissioner and the returning officer of Kokrajhar (ST) parliamentary constituency against the BPF and its president, accusing Mohilary of largescale violence and intimidation using sophisticated arms. In his complaint letter, Brahma said the situation in Baksa district was volatile and not conducive to free and fair polls.
The Election Commission responded later in the day, transferring Baksa deputy commissioner Anupam Kumar Roy and superintendent of police Gautam Bora.
Vinod Seshan has been appointed as the new deputy commissioner and Nimbalkar V. Chandrakant will take over as the new superintendent of police, Assam’s additional chief electoral officer R.C. Jain said.
Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from several parts of Baksa, under Kokrajhar constituency, forcing the district administration to order a flag march at Mushalpur last evening.
Baksa deputy commissioner and returning officer Anupam Kumar Roy said the situation was tense but under control. He said four additional companies of paramilitary forces were being rushed to the district and deployed in the sensitive areas.
Incidents of violence were also reported from Chirang district.
The BTAD had witnessed deaths and largescale violence during the 2005 BTC elections, 2006 Assembly polls, 2009 Lok Sabha elections and the 2011 Assembly elections.