ASSAM – Though failing to protect Muslims’ lives, Indian police has fired rubber bullets and used batons to disperse hundreds of villagers protesting the abductions and killings of four Muslim traders in India’s remote northeast Assam state.
“The chief minister Gogoi has failed to provide security to us. Each and every time innocent people are getting killed by armed militants whereas the government has been a mute spectator to this," a relative of one of the victims told TwoCircles.net on Monday, July 14.
"We want the CM [chief minister] to come here so that he can sense the pain of the family members of the deceased. We have suffered a lot.”
The bodies of the four Muslim traders, who were kidnapped on Friday, were found on Sunday, July 13, in Assam’s Baksa district.
The badly injured bodies of the Muslim lemon traders were found on the bank of Beki River and in paddy fields.
Defying the imposed curfew, hundreds of Muslims flocked to streets to protest the killing of the four traders and demand the protection of their community.
“The situation is under control. A curfew is in place in some areas to ensure nothing untoward happens,” Vinod Seshan, a district magistrate in Baksa, told The Wall Street Journal.
No arrests have been made because it’s “not yet clear” who might have been responsible, said Lajja Ram Bishnoi, a police official in Assam.
“We have launched a massive investigation to find out the motive behind the killing and those involved in the crime.”
Although initial investigations showed the involvement of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDPF), the group refuted any connections to the incident.
“The leaders of the ruling party have been using the Muslims and the Bodos for safety and security of their political purpose,” publicity secretary of NDFB(S) N.E. Esara was quoted by Deccan Chronicle.
Bodo people have frequently attacked Muslims they say have illegally entered from neighboring Bangladesh and encroached on their ancestral lands in the hills.
The angry relatives warned they will not hold funeral (Janazah) prayer for their victims unless the chief minister visits the area.
The kidnapping and killing of the Muslim traders was widely condemned by several groups in the remote northeast state of Assam.
All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU), All BTC Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU) and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) were among the groups that vehemently criticized the local government for failing to protect Muslims.
The Union minister of Assam for home said that the issue would be handled by the central government in case the state failed to control it.
"Though law and order is a state subject, but if the state government fails to handle the situation centre will definitely intervene,” Union minister of state for home, Kiren Rijiju, said.
The killing of four Muslims comes two months after Bodo attacks against Muslims last May killed at least 45 as a punishment for failing to support their local candidate in the election.
Surrounded by China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan, Assam is home to more than 200 ethnic and tribal groups and has been racked by separatist revolts since India’s independence from Britain in 1947.
In recent years, Hindu and Christian tribes have vented strong sentiments against Muslims, calling them Bangladeshi immigrants.
In August 2012, sectarian violence rocked the city after four youths were killed by unidentified men in the isolated Kokrajhar district.
In retaliation, armed men from Bodo tribes attacked Muslims for suspicion of being behind the killings.
The violence spread to the neighboring Chirang and Dhubri districts, leaving at least 22 people dead.
Thousands of people were also left homeless as their villages were set on fire in the violence.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
We are not responsible for the content of external internet sites