Violence in 100-Hour Boroland Bandh Draws Condemnation

The Peoples’ Joint Action Committee for Boroland Movement (PJACBM) strongly condemn the violent incidents such as the torching of motor bikes and damage to vehicles perpetrated by some unidentified miscreants during the 100-hour on-going Boroland bandh, which started at midnight on February 28th. The bandh was called by this organization to pressure the Government to hold peace talks with NDFB (P) at the political level for a separate state of Boroland.

PJACBM strongly suspects the active involvement of some anti-social elements in those incidents to defame and malign the peaceful, democratic and non- violent movement for the legitimate demand of separate state.

In the course of the 100-hours on-going bandh, the state police administration particularly in the district of Kokrajhar was seen to be launching a search-operation in the houses of the leaders of the Peoples’ Joint Action Committee without any prior warrant guaranteed to them by the law of the land. This is a violation of Fundamental Rights to the Constitution of India in order to arrest the leadership of the Peoples’ Joint Action committee for Boroland Movement for unknown motives.

The Committee says it is very much aware of the fact that the Government of Assam is trying to disrupt the democratic, non-violent and peaceful movement. They are creating many incidents and causing fear psychosis in the minds of the activists with a clear intention to suppress the growing democratic mass movement of PJACBM. The movement would like to firmly inform the Government of Assam that the Boro and other Indigenous peoples are not cowards. Activists said the Government of Assam’s agenda, attempting to crush the PJACBM’s democratic mass movement is an example of ‘Old wine in a new Bottle,’ which will yield no fruit but to aggravate the situation.

Recently, the Assam police force apprehended seven innocent civilians from their houses for reasons they have not divulged. The Committee says it strongly condemns the arbitrary arrest of innocent Boro villagers and demands the unconditional release of those apprehended:

1 Mr. Detshing Brahma (27) of Bhatamari (Kokrajhar);

2. Mr. Kasendrajit Basumatary (30) of Joypur, Simen Chapori (Dhemaji);

3. Mr. Ananta Borgoyari (35) of Choto Adabari (Kokrajhar);

4. Mr. Rahul Brahma (24) of Choto Adabari (Kokrajhar);

5. Mr. Santosh Brahma (27) of Choto Adabari (Kokrajhar);

6. Mr. Lokendra Brahma (52), General Secretary, Kokrajhar District Committee, Kokrajhar, Jaising, Simbargaon (Kokrajhar);

“The Committee strongly condemns the arbitrary arrest of innocent Boro villagers and harassment causing to the family members of the leaders of the PJACBM by Assam Police, especially in Kokrajhar district and demands the unconditional release of those apprehended and an immediate halt of harassment of the family members of the PJACBM, failing to which they would be compelled to further intensify with vigorous mass democratic movement and seek legal action against the erring police officials.”

The Peoples’ Joint Action Committee for Boroland Movement says it has always believed and supported the peaceful resolution of the conflict with a WIN-WIN formula but not the LOSE-LOSE formula presented by others.

The Committee urges the Government of India to uphold the Boroland problem as political and hold political dialogue with the NDFB (P) for a permanent solution, in the best interest of the people living in Boroland.

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.