Kokrajhar: The indefinite curfew continues in Kokrajhar and Gossaigaon districts of Assam following renewed violence. Six people have died in the latest violence between two suspected factions of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB). 27-year-old Majeda Khatun is inconsolable. Her husband Ashrafudin Sheikh a school teacher is one of the victims of the fresh clashes that have erupted in Kokhrajar. Their 4-year-old son is yet to fully understand that his father isn’t coming back.
Renewed violence between two communities has claimed several lives. A grim reminder of the July-August riots that left hundreds dead and 450,000 displaced. But the presence of the army to arrest the violence hardly seems like a permanent solution to the people in relief camps. Fear and suspicion is written on their faces. Some of the displaced villagers who tried to go back to their fields for the harvest season were shot at. Marjina Bibi's husband was shot dead last Saturday in a paddy field. Shahjahan who was also with him managed to escape.
“I don't see any hope for peace, they move around with guns there is no security,” Shahjahan said. Fingers have been pointed at a section of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland for spreading the violence. For the affected, more days they spend under these tarpaulin tents... the faster their hopes of going back to normal lives are fading.
Despite promises and incremental aid people living in the relief camps are still caught in the politics of rehabilitation. Moving from one place to another they have been unable to go back to their village. Even now according to some estimates, 39,000 people are still in relief camps.
The knee jerk reaction of the state government and the Bodoland territorial council’s insistence on dictating and deciding that who is a legal citizen and who is not and the free availability of illegal arms has only ensured that violence rules the lives of people from all communities in these corner of Assam.