ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Violence in Bodoland

Unresolved ethnic tensions continue to plague the state of Assam.

For a state that has been mired in recurring forms of violent ethnic conflict, the recent set of incidents in Udalguri and Darrang districts of Assam which resulted in widespread arson and the deaths of 40 people do not come as a surprise. These districts, apart from two other, are part of the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) administered by the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC). The BTAD consist s of a majorit y of t ribal people (most of whom belong to the ethnic Bodo community) and was created after protracted struggles and negotiations bet ween Bodo groups and the Indian state.

The recent violent clashes in Udalguri and Darrang have pitted the Bodo-speaking scheduled tribe (ST) community against the Muslims, who have been perceived as “illegal migrants from Bangladesh”, even though many of them are settled migrants born in this region after 1947. Although the brutality was said to be triggered by a case of cattle theft, the root cause of the recurring violence in this region of Assam cannot be grasped unless the problems that the carving of an autonomous district for the Bodos created for the others residing in the BTAD are acknowledged.

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