About those 'clashes' in Assam

Anywhere Muslims and non-Muslims live in close proximity with one another, there are “clashes.” “Assam, India: Bodo tribe, Muslim clashes kill at least 35, displace 170,000,” by Kristin Deasy for the Global Post, July 25 (thanks to JW):

Four days of violent clashes between India’s native Bodo tribespeople and Muslim immigrants has taken at least 35 lives, officials said today, while another 170,000 are estimated to have fled their homes in the facing of rising violence in India’s northwestern Assam region, reported Agence-France-Press. (continued below)

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Hugh Fitzgerald

Muslims from Bengal, and from Bangladesh itself, have been for decades putting steady pressure on the indigenous peoples, in the same way that Muslims in Malaysia have been putting pressure on, and uprooting from their land, the indigenous tribes, such as the Dyak, even as the Muslims instiutte a  “Sons of the Soil” policy supposedly meant to favor the indigenous peoples, but only favoring the Muslim Malays.

Here is the story, which doesn’t tell the real story, from AP: :

India: Soldiers Kill 5 as Dispute Over Land Explodes in Violence

Troops sent to quell clashes over land rights in northeast India killed five people Tuesday after the government ordered them to shoot suspects on sight. The killings and the discoveries of more bodies raised the toll from the violence in Assam State to 32 since Friday, according to G. D. Tripathy, the Assam home secretary. An additional 170,000 people have fled to more than 100 relief camps to avoid the fighting between the ethnic Bodo and Muslim settlers, who are mostly Bengali, in the western district of Kokrajhar. The police have found 27 bodies, most of them hacked with machetes and left in the jungle or beside roads or rivers. About 80 homes were burned down overnight as the violence spread to the neighboring Dhubri and Chirang districts. Residents of the village of Dimol fled Tuesday. Authorities sent about 5,000 army and paramilitary troops to the region with a mandate to shoot people suspected of arson and rioting on sight, said the Assam chief minister, Tarun Gogoi. Animosity and accusations of land theft have long simmered between Bodos and the settlers, who have clashed sporadically since the 1990s and burned each other’s homes and property.

Scroll down for some background information!

India deployed the military to the region, but violence raged overnight with reports of nine people killed and angry residents setting one another’s homes on fire, said The Hindu.

Assam police chief JN Choudhury told reporters today that the “situation is tense and we are getting additional paramilitary troopers,” reported AFP. A curfew has been in place in the region for several days, and the New York Daily News earlier said officers had been given orders to shoot on sight in order to stamp out unrest.

Al Jazeera reported groups of people shooting weapons indiscriminately in crowded areas over the weekend. Several people have been reported brutally killed. Police on Sunday said villagers had found a six-month-old baby on a river bank near a dead woman’s body, according to Al Jazeera.

The Bodo tribe and Muslim settlers have been locked in territorial disputes for years, but BBC News reported that the recent violence appears tied to the killing of four young people by an unknown man in a predominantly Bodo tribal area on July 20.

Over 200 ethnic and tribal groups live in the volatile Assam region, said Al Jazeera.

Christina McIntosh

 Assam.   Some background information.

From my Christian sourcebook ‘Operation World’ ( a guide to praying for the nations), dating from 2001, and depending on many official sources.  (They are usually pretty careful with their estimates).

Mountains and rivers: tropical forest, the Brahmaputra River; tea and timber.

Pop. about 27 million – and my source noted “large-scale immigration from Bangladesh and Nepal”. (I would assume the Bengali ‘immigrants’ would be mostly Muslim, and the Nepali mostly Hindu).  Capital city: Dispur.

Of the indigenous ‘Tribal’ peoples, the single largest group are the Bodo, comprising some 1.6 million people.  There are 21 other groups, somewhat smaller.

Religions: 65 % Hindu, 31 % Muslim, 3 % Christian, 0.3 % Buddhist, 0.6 % ‘other’.  [That Muslim percentage has, most likely, in the past ten years, exploded due to Immigration JIhad and Demographic Jihad (overbreeding – CM]

My source went on to remark that the 15 million Assamese were mostly Hindu, but that those of Bengali background were mostly Muslim, and comprised the vast majority of all Muslims within Assam. I quote: “Many have immigrated from poor, overpopulated [that is, Islam-impoverished, Islamically overbreeding – CM] Bangladesh, with considerable hostility generated among Assamese.  [And we all know why…CM].  Muslims are a majority in 6 of Assam’s 23 districts.”

That was what I knew, in 2001. from reading that very useful book.