GUWAHATI: Assam has been a place where human rights violation is grave and continuous. Most of the times the state comes to the limelight only for news related to severe violence. About barely two months back there were large scale massacre in the state where 57 Muslims were horrendously shot dead by the Bodo militants. Among the deceased most of them were women and children. The massacre was followed by some other killings as well including barbarous killings of four petty vendors. Thereafter occurred the turmoil in the Assam-Nagaland border which took about 20 lives so far. And very recently the Bodo militants killed one school girl which has created much uproar throughout the nation.

On 21st Aug 2014 Bodo militants namely NDFB(S) brutally gunned down a The name of the victim is Priya Basumutary (16 yrs) who was a student of class X. The incident took place in an interim village called Dwimuguri under the Runikhata Police Station of Chirang district. Though killing of this kind is not a new phenomenon in the region but this incident got importance because the militants killed the girl in broad daylight in front of all the villagers and they compelled the villagers to watch the killing. The militants suspected the girl to be an informer to the police. The killing was so deeply horrific that the militants tied up the parents of the girl in order to force them to watch the live killing of their daughter and this barbarity of Bodo militants have surpassed the barbarity and brutality of Talibans or any other terrorist groups of contemporary world . The incident came up hours after the encounter of five Bodo militants by the security forces. The militants called media persons as well to the scene to show off their power and prowess in terms of sophisticated weapons including M-16 among others. However the Chief Minister of Assam has ordered a judicial enquiry in to the killing.

BTAD region popularly known as Bodoland is situated in western Assam and is a safe haven for the Bodo terrorists. More than 20,000 people have been killed in the region since 1987. The BTAD came into being on 10 February 2003 as a memorandum of settlement (MoS) between the Assam government, the Union government, and the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT, a former militant group). All three parties signed the MoS in New Delhi, and the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) or BTAD came into being. It was created under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and was expected to bring sustainable peace in western Assam. Presently, the jurisdiction of Bodoland extends over 3,082 villages, and the BTC has been given legislative powers over 40 subjects. The accord provides for a council comprising a maximum of 46 members, of which 30 will be reserved for scheduled tribes (STs) and five for non-tribal communities; five seats are open to all communities, and six members are to be nominated by the governor of Assam.

BTAD, where the ruling Bodos have only about 30% population, is completely unrepresentative and is a live example of wrong and irresponsible decision of the government. Bodo leaderships are demanding for a separate state dividing Assam 50-50 though their population is merely about 4% of the total population of Assam. Bodos are known for their violent ways, has been constantly focused on ethnic cleansing so as to prove them as a majority in the BTAD region.

It is noteworthy to mention that the government of present day BTAD is formed mostly by the ex-Bodo militants. Though officially they have surrendered but covertly a major section of them are carrying out militant activities even today. Government of Assam is merely a mute spectator and tacitly supporting the militants to carry out their militant activity. Though the government held responsible NDFB(S) group for all the killings but it’s an open secret that almost a sizable section of Bodos possess sophisticated weapons and carrying out illegal activities in the region. There have been instances when the militants with sophisticated weapons were seen moving openly even in front of the security forces but the latter doing nothing.

Now the question arises why the security forces are so soft with the militants? The answer obviously is the pressure from political classes on the forces. In the recent massacre of Baksa district, it has been found that the ruling party of BTAD namely BPF was involved in the inhumane killings of 57 villagers and the government has given impunity to the perpetrators of the violence. The culture of impunity giving has gone to the point that one Ranjan Daimary, Chairman of another militant group namely NDFB, who was involved in the serial bomb blast of Assam few years back, killing more than 100 lives is roaming freely on bail. The Indian state is shamelessly providing all kind of security and VIP like treatment to these criminals who are extremely dangerous for the society.

Government is apparently a non-existent actor in BTAD and under this situation the terrorists are running a parallel government in the belt. Killings, kidnappings, extortions, human rights violations, bands, etc. have been various forms of day to day sufferings for the people of BTAD. The government must act sternly to do away with the terrorism which undoubtedly has created a ‘durable disorder’ in the region. The culture of impunity to the militants must be stopped to stop the culture of violence in Assam.