The Assam Effect – Is it a Communal Time Bomb or Foreign Interference?

GoaChronicle.com brings you a report on the Bodo-Muslim violence in Assam and its trigger effect which is slowly engulfing the entire country. Mumbai incident is just a tip of the ice-berg…

In Mumbai two person were killed and 53 people injured in an unbridled mob vandalism for about an hour after a section of participants in a rally by Sunni Muslim organisations -(representatives of Raza Academy, All India Sunni Jamaitul Ulema, All India Sunni Ayema-e-Masajid, Jamaat-E- Razae Mustafa and 20 other Muslim organisations) went on a rampage. Over 50,000 people from the rally, organised to focus attention on the violence against the Muslim in Assam, spilled on the streets, damaging and setting on fire vehicles in their path. In fact the organisers Raza Academy themselves were shocked to see such a large turn-out, when they were expecting 1000 to 1500 crowd.

So much was the aggression in the crowd, as told to GoaChronicle.com from media colleagues at the incident, that even media vehicles were torched.

Even in Pune, 10 people compressing of students and professionals were beaten up of August 8 and 9, allegedly by members of the minority community. The police commissioner, however, denies that these are ‘hate crimes’.

In Kolkata, posters and SMSes sympathising with Assam riot victims surfaced in various parts of the city, which police see as a possible act of provocation. Police authorities in the state are talking to the minority community leaders to defuse the situation.

In Andhra Pradesh, two labourers who were returning home by the Ernakulam Express following fears of a backlash in Kerala, were beaten up.

With the trigger effect of the Assam violence slowly trickling to the rest of the country, Centre has sent an advisory to all states asking them to be extra vigilant in sensitive localities including religious places and put various community leaders on guard. It also asked the para-military forces to keep their personnel on standby, in case any state needs assistance of Central forces in an emergency situation. A Red Alert has been issued across the country.

Intelligence Bureau has shared a list of 14 northeast – based organisations which has been on the radar of the Central Intelligence agencies with the police force in different states.

Sources in the Central Intelligence agencies have told GoaChronicle.com that current the CBI is probing the connection between the seperate incidents and is trying to establish if there are any external links. Though, senior officers in the intelligence believe that there appears to be foreign influence coupled with local assistance in the repercussions of the Muslim violence in Assam.

Such in the level of tension that UPA chairman Sonia Gandhi had to visit Assam; this came soon after the recent visit of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. The urgency, GoaChronicle.com has learnt stems from worries that the conflict in Assam can spill out to impact the socio-political scene across the country. Congress is hoping to reign in the concern which is taking a religious dimension.

The Assam Bodos and Bangladeshi Muslim community issue is not new. The growing Bangladeshi Muslims (whose citizenship is contested because they are settlers) perceives itself as the dominant group in at least 11 of the 27 districts of Assam, in fact there are physical encroachments of land by the Bangladeshi Muslims and its insistence that the special powers of the Bodo Territorial Council to prevent land alienation be scrapped. The Bodo violence was born out of desperation, while the aggression of the settlers was driven by anticipation of a new conquest.

Bodos clashed repeatedly with other groups. In October 1993, Bodo – Muslim clashes affected around 4000 families in Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon. In 1994, 113 were killed in Barpeta: Bodo-Advasi clashes in 1996 and 1998 saw almost 400 people and over 3 lakh displaced, again in 2008, Bodo-Muslims clashes left 65 killed and over 2 lakh displaced.

But this time the fear emerging is that the violence is expected to spill to other parts of the country. The incident that went out of hand in Mumbai caught even the Mumbai Police Authorities and even the Intelligence agencies by a complete surprise. Senior officers suspect that it appears to have a foreign hand instigating the Muslim community to get aggressive on the issue. Strangely, in a photograph in GoaChronicle.com possession among the people gathered for the event and also was a part of the riots, we had an individual waving a Pakistani flag. The last time such a communal tension gripped India was the Babri-Masjid incident. And Centre is working to contain the situation before the situation takes a diabolical and extreme communal turn.

With the recent Pune blasts with reported involvement of the terror outfit of Indian Mujhaideen, the Ramzan season is going on and the coming Independence Day celebrations, security has become of prime importance across the country. Central Intelligence sources suspect that ISI backed outfits like SIMI and other black-listed muslim organisations might use the tension in Assam to spurt several untoward situation across the country in the name of protecting the rights of the Muslim community. These suspension have gotten stronger since nobody has yet been able to identify what sparked the riot in Mumbai, even the organisers have candidly admitted that the issue of Assam violence against Muslims was raised at rally and some speakers did make ‘hate speeches’.

The Raza Academy organisers of the Mumbai rally is an orthodox group promoting conservative Islamic beliefs and practices associated with sufism. It was formed in 1978 and it has a record of violent protests. Intelligence sources reveal that it has already occupied many Mosques in various parts of Mumbai forcibly. It gets  funding from abroad including Saudi Arabia and a few other Islamic countries.

The government has been rather soft on the counter-trerrorism measures particularly towards the North East. The Kokrajhar experience is a clear indication that the government’s minority appeasement policy has been proving to be costlier with every passing day.

The ISI appears to have encircled India through its overt and covert set of operatives in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and even in China as there are many camps operating in these areas and they push trained batches to foment trouble from time to time.

There has been a surge in counterfeit currency infusion in India and according to a report, almost 18 to 19 percent currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations in the North East are fake.

ISI appears to have adopted a new technique of appointing local youth for specific targets.  It just arranges “money and logistics” and local youths follow the orders.

ISI has also been instrumental in preparing a “women” brigade( who are tech savvy) from good educational institutions by indoctrinating them and giving them support  for information gathering and relay of information.

In Goa too, the police authorities are maintaining a strong vigil on the situation and have also kept their eyes of suspected miscreants who would want to stir up the sentiments of the people. Security at the Dabolim Airport has also been beefed up.
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone


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