Regional Bishops Councils
Catholic Council of India
Catholic Religious of India
Clergy and Religious
Dialogue and Desk for Ecumenism
Education and Culture
Justice, Peace and Development
Scheduled Castes/Backward Classes and Tribal Affairs
St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences
National Biblical, Catechetical, and Liturgical Centre
National Vocation Service Centre
National Institute for Social Communications, Research and Training
Society for Medical Education, North India
Church In India
Dioceses of India
Canon Law (Latin)
CCEO (Oriental Code)
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope John Paul II
Saints in the Catholic Church
Election of a new Pope
Appointment of a Bishop
Who is a Cardinal?
Violence in Bodoland Continues Unabated; Church Organisations Step In With Relief and Peace Efforts
Bongaigaon (CBCI News):The violent clashes between the Bodos and the Muslim immigrants are still continuing. The tragedy has claimed 58 lives so far and has left over 200,000 people homeless in Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) in Western Assam. The government of India has set up a 10-member coordination committee to address the issue.
Even as the epicenter of the conflict were the districts of Kokrajhar and Chirang accounting for 40 deaths, there were ripple effects in the neighbouring districts of Dhubri and Baksa, as violence and incidents of killing were reported from those areas.
Though Bodo Territorial Council (BTC) created under the sixth schedule of the Indian Constitution is in place since 2003 under the leadership of Hagrama Mohilary, the responsibility for maintaining law and order falls on the state government of Assam. Congress Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, three times elected to head the state government is also the Home Minister, responsible for law and order.
Mistrust, conflict, violent clashes and efforts at the so called ‘ethnic-cleansing’ are not new in the BTAD region. Ever since the Bodoland agitation which started in 1987, there have been waves of such conflicts, in which the migrant Muslims were a major target. Ownership of land was one of the main reasons and it is likely to be contentious issue even in future.
But the triggering point of the recent incidents, it is reported, was the death of two Muslim youths, Nurul Haque and Mazibur Rahman, who were allegedly shot dead by the cadres of the now disbanded Bodoland Liberation Tigers (BLT) on 6 July. Then on the 20 July, four members of the erstwhile BLT were hacked to death by unidentified persons in Joypur outside Kokrajhar town. There ensured a full-scale riot involving the migrant Muslims on one side and the Bodo tribals on the other.
Even as 200,000 people from over 400 villages are displaced- their houses reduced to ashes, cattle killed, crops untended and fields desolate- the questions being asked are- how could those involved in violence possess and use such sophisticated firearms? Where is the rule of law? What ‘politics’ or ‘outside elements’ as alleged, involved?
The Peace and Relief Coordination Committee (PRCC) headed by Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil of Bongaigaon met here today to take stock of the situation and chalk out plans for relief activities.
The committee identified as the top priority for relief work a number of items such as food materials like rice, pulses, salt; tarpaulin for shelter; providing clean drinking water; mosquito nets to protect from malaria and medical attention.
The Committee also suggested names of some leaders of influence from both the communities who could be involved in exploring peace process.
The representatives from the diocese led by Fr.Thomas D’Silva, the PRO and the spokesperson met Chirang District Commissioner Upendra Nath Bora and expressed readiness to do the relief works. As per the agreement, the diocese would begin immediately the medical relief under H.C.Brama, the Joint Health Director of the district.
Meanwhile, the Bongaigaon Gana Seva Society(BGSS), the social service wing of the diocese, is getting ready with a massive relief project. “We are planning a three-phase programme: medical relief, food and shelter and peace building phase”, said Fr. David Antony, the director.
Church in India
Dioceses of India
Copyright © 2011 CBCI. All rights reserved