People in violence hit north Assam seek peace and harmony

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Guwahati, Oct.22 : The recent violence in Udalguri and Darrang districts of north Assam has left local residents of the region, devastated. The victims of the communal riot appeal all to restore peace and harmony to let the normal life resume.

Lamenting the ugly turn of the event, Bodos and Muslims, among whom the riot took place, doesn't deny the hand of local militants behind the communal violence.

"We left our homes, cattle, sheep and cows. All our belongings are destroyed. We feel helpless. It's all darkness now. What more can we say?" said a riot-hit person.

Analysts here believe that all communities should work together to develop the BODO area. Located in northern part of the state, Udalguri and Darrang districts of Assam haven't witnessed the clash for the first time. Earlier in the year, 15 people lost their lives, when two communities got into conflict to establish their supremacy over the land.

Many people here are still clueless, how the violence broke out in the first place between the two communities, which left more than fifty dead and hundred others injured.

The timely intervention by the state government prevented the violence from spreading to the neighbouring districts.

"We want peace. Let the Government bring back peace. Let us live in peace. I wish that chaos and confusion will soon end and may peace prevail in the state," said another riot-hit man. More than 2,00,000 people become homeless in backdrop of the clash, of whom many have taken shelter in the government relief camps.

To restore the feeling of security among the masses, state government has recruited nearly 8,000 police personnel in the two riot districts of the region.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gagoi recently said: "Both groups are eying to grab the land. I am not saying this group or that group, but there is a very small section of people. Vast majority (of people) have been living together, they are not fighting. Very small section is taking the advantage, they are eying on the land. Their motive is to grab the land. These are miscreant of both groups. And definitely, we will see the interest of everybody."

However, local analysts believe that besides security there is an urgent need to restore confidence and sense of togetherness among communities to bring in lasting peace in the region. Bibhu Prasad Routray, a faculty at the Institute For Conflict Management in New Delhi, said: ""Both parties should sit together and prepare a mutual agreement and check what kind of friction do they exactly have. The points of differences should be discovered. The dialogue has to be facilitated and it has to be done by the state government. There are organizations at both the front. The Bodos have their number of organizations, there are number of organizations on the Muslim side as well. So, they must sit together."

Contrary to some of the reports in the media the clashes are not between the Bodos and illegal Bangladeshis settled there.

Analysts describe the conflict as a war between the Bodos and Muslims to get more territory. With the establishment of the Bodo Territorial Council, people were hoping for a phase of economic development in the resource rich region. But unfortunately as analysts say there are some miscreants, who don't want the region to take the path of the progress. By Peter Alex Todd

ANI

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