India: Assam violence displaces more than 100,000
More than 105,000 people have fled their homes after violence in India's northeastern state of Assam killed at least 81 people over three days from Tuesday last week, according to police.

No violence was reported in the last 48 hours as army and paramilitary forces were deployed in the state. However, fearing attacks on their life, people from the region have fled to the relative safety of schools and temporary relief camps secured by the police and army.

At least 73 people were killed by armed separatist militants of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit faction) when they fired on civilians on 23 December. Retaliatory attacks by the Adivasi tribal community killed at least 10 others in the state.

Three Adivasis were also killed when state police fired to disperse a mob of protestors outside a police station in Sonitpur district the day after.

"We are trying to instil confidence among the people.” said Kokrajhar Deputy Commissioner Thaneswar Malakar. "A good will mission with members of both the affected Bodo and Adivasi community met the people sheltering in camps in Kokrajhar.”

Meanwhile, the Indian Army Chief, Gen Dalbir Singh flew in to the state to obtain a first-hand perspective of the operations, and also made an aerial reconnaissance of the strife-torn areas.

The general interacted with various commanders in the field and reviewed the deployment of the 66 army columns in the disturbed areas.

The rebels responsible for the incident are believed to have fled to Bhutan.

"The general also took note of the roadmap being planned by the army jointly with police and directed his troops to extend all possible support to the state administration in bringing back normalcy, while at the same time carrying out relentless operations against the perpetrators of terror," said an army release.

The army intensified operations along the inter-state border and along the international border with Bhutan after the killings.

The National Democratic Front of Bodoland is a militant organisation with about 270 members, according to the Assam Police. It is fighting for a 'sovereign' Bodoland and the Songbijit faction, which has carried out the current attacks is opposed to talks with the government. It's leader IK Songbijit, is believed to be hiding inside Myanmar.

The Bodos are an aboriginal tribe from Assam who number about 1.3 million in the state as per data from India's 2011 census. The Adivasis who number even more in the state, were originally brought in by the British to work in Assam's famed tea plantations.

AA

Last Modified: 2014-12-30 16:22:44
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