Ethnic Conflict: Boro Tribe v. Illegal Bangladeshi Migration In Assam

Indian militant group appeals to Indian Government to stop violence, rehabilitate victims, Implement Assam accord and seal Indo-Bangladesh border to stop illegal immigration from Bangladesh

The pro-talk faction of a Boro militant group has strongly condemned the grisly communal bloodshed, in Assam’s Dhubri, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar and Chirang districts.

The ongoing ethnic conflict in Assam between the Boro Tribe and illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, is exacerbated by the Indian government’s failure to stop illegal crossing of the International boundary.

The National Democratic Front of Boroland (Progressive), NDFB(P) group has been in talks with the Government of India for the past six years, trying to negotiate a separate state for the Boro peoples.

Illegal Bangladeshis Kill 100 Boro People

100 innocent people were killed over the six day period from 19th July, 2012 to 25th July, 2012, and hundreds of thousands lost their homes. Officially, the Government estimates the death toll to be 70.

The Boro people were attacked by illegal Bangladesh immigrants, and at one stage, the illegals were supported by the Indian Assam State Government troops, against the Boro people.

A press release issued by the NDFB(P) said, “The gruesome riot incident was pre-planned and attacked against the sons of the soil by suspected Bangladeshi peoples as well as some agents of the Indian Assam State Government (IASG), who were directly and indirectly involved in the above-noted communal violence. In a word, it is the conflict between the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and the indigenous people (that is, Bodo Tribe). It is one kind of an attempt to ‘finish’ the Bodo or Boro populace.”

State Government Fails To Protect Indians

The militant group further added in their press release, “The IASG utterly failed not only to control the go-wild situation but also failed to send the reinforcement to the trouble torn above districts areas; not only that, even, after 5-days were nothing but a play to give advantage to the illegal migrants to crush and finish the Boro clan. But, fortunately or unfortunately more damage was befell to the illegal immigrants and the question, justice and legitimacy was about to the solved.

Sensing the losing situation of the illegal immigrants the IASG promptly came forward to rescue the above suspected citizens and reinforcement were send to the areas right away. We criticized the biased approach of the said Indian State Government, as a result of this, we could see clearly that anti-Boro stand of the IASG is still obvious as the security posts were set only for the relief camps of the illegal immigrants but not a single security post was visible in the relief camps of the Boro people and this is why, we condemn the biasness and anti-Boro stance of the said state government.”

Is Government Trying To Displace Boro?

The Boro people suspect the Government of Assam is using the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants to displace the Boro people.

B. Borosa, the NDFB(P) Assistant Information & Publicity Secretary also stated and in their press release, “We understand the ‘conspiracy theory’ of infiltrating more illegal immigrants into Boroland or Bodoland area through this violence is very unfortunate as to why the party president or chief Maulana Badaruddin Ajmal, the chief of All India United Democratic Front also known as AIUDF (formerly known as Assam United Democratic Front or AUDF) is seen to repeatedly claiming that 4-lakh refugees (illegal minority Bengali speaking Muslim immigrants) are taking shelter in Dhubri district. While, as per the Indian Census Report, 2011, only 1.5-lakh minority population is there in Kokrajhar district.

Several Bengali speaking Muslims are still in their own villages; however, some are holed up in relief camps in Kokrajhar itself. No refugees from Chirang district are shifted to Dhubri district so far. Who is that excess 2.5-lakh of Bengali speaking minority people? Are they not illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, whom AIUDF chief Badaruddin Ajmal is planning to infiltrate into Boroland in guise of refugee?”

“It is fact that the IASG has decided to rehabilitate the affected peoples to their respective hamlets within-15-days. We also feel the need of immediate rehabilitation to avert the ‘human tragedy’ but, at the same time, we oppose the rehabilitation of the evicted illegal immigrants in the Boroland areas. If it is necessary then it should be rehabilitated only updating the National Residential Certificate or National Register of Citizen (NRC) on the basis of the Indian Census Report, 1951, which is invoked in other Indian states respectively. The IASG’s attempt to rehabilitate them without ascertaining their NRC-status will create more confusion or clash to the entire region for which the above state government will be responsible,” said the organization – NDFB(P) through their press release.

Boro Demands

The group demanded 10 separate points, in their press release.

“All the Indian national and State Political Parties and the Union Government as well as the State Government of Assam for taking serious consideration on our voice that has been raised on the following issues :

  • a) Concede the separate state demand of the Boro and other indigenous people,
  • b) The identity of the indigenous Tribal Peoples is threatened; so save and protect tribal land to save the Indigenous Tribal Peoples,
  • c) Save the Indigenous Tribal Peoples to save India,
  • d) Ensure the safety and security of the lives and properties; language and culture, customs and traditions of the Indigenous Tribal Peoples,
  • e) Make India free from illegal immigrants,
  • f) Immediate seal the India-Bangladesh International Border to combat the illegal infiltration to save India from population over-burden,
  • g) Stop further infiltration of foreigners into India, particularly into the Eastern Indian State, Assam for safety, security and demographic balance of the bona-fide Indian citizens,
  • h) Implement Clause 10 of the Assam Accord, 1985,
  • i) Implement and enforce the NRC on the basis of Indian Census Report, 1951, before attempting to rehabilitate the riot-affected Bengali speaking Muslim immigrants of Kokrajhar and Chirang districts and
  • j) Ensure peace and security in our land as we want to live in peace with other bona-fide Indian nationals.”

Editor’s Note:

1. All Disquiet in North-East India, Published on 6th November, 2009.

2. Northeast Indian Region Threatened By Illegal Influx, Published on 14th November, 2009.

3. Millions of Foreigners in India, Published on 24th November, 2009.

4. India Ignores Illegal Migration In Northeast India, People Continue to Suffer, Published on 13th October, 2009.

5. An Ugly Attack on Human Rights, Published on 29th October, 2009.

6. Saga of Devastation in Brahmaputra Valley River Islands : A Story of Vanishing Islands in North East India, Published on 30th November, 2009.

7. International Border Disputes & Adverse-Possessions of India-Bangladesh International Border-land Dispute – Indian paid tax but Bangladeshi gets ownership : Adverse Possessions Cause India-Bangladesh Boundary Disputes, Published on 30th September, 2011.

8. India-Bangladesh International Border Disputes* – Inconceivable Truth – Indian Peasants Pay Tax But Bangladeshi Farmers Get Ownership – Lathitilla-Dumabaroi, Published on 06th May, 2012.

9. India-Bangladesh International Border Disputes – Muhuri River, Published on 18th April, 2012.

10. Inhabitants of Indian Enclaves Often Oppressed, Neglected and Exploited : Indian Enclaves Battered With Hostilities and Isolation, Published on 02nd September, 2011.

11. Bangladeshis Sneak Into India for Free Medical Check Ups, Published on 08th March, 2010.

12. Bangladesh TV, Radio Programmes Famous in India, Published on 24th October, 2009.

13. Bangladeshi Phones for Indian Peoples, Published on 05th October, 2009.

14. A Kick In India – Goals In Bangladesh, Published on 04th July, 2010

15. An International Ghost Story From 1971: Dead Soldiers Guard

International Border, Published on 01st August, 2010.

16. Offering Prayer Or Puja Banned At International Border, Published on 23rd October, 2011.

17. Stolen Bike Engines Used in Bangladeshi Boats, Published on 16th July, 2011.

18. Indian Militant Group Criticizes Indo-Bangla Pact, Published on 07th September, 2011.

19. Memorandum Calls for End of Communal Clashes in Assam, Published on 27th July, 2012.

20. Unabated Illegal Bangladeshi Threats to The Ethnic Identity of Boroland, Published on 29th August, 2011.

Shib Shankar Chatterjee is a former BBC, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Statesman & The Telegraph Contributor-cum-Correspondent from Northeast India, who specializes in investigations of important issues affecting the people of South Asia, specially, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan & Myanmar.