Posted by: Miracle Studios | October 5, 2008

25 killed in ethnic violence in Assam

GUWAHATI – 25 people were killed and thousands left homeless in ethnic violence between tribal people and Bangladeshi settlers in troubled Assam at the weekend, police and hospital authorities said.

Violence between the Bodo tribespeople and immigrant Muslims broke out on Friday in Rowta in Assam’s Udalguri district, about 100 km north of state capital Dispur, and has since spread to neighbouring districts.

Villagers from both communities, armed with bows and arrows, machetes, spears, and guns targeted rivals. More than 50,000 have fled their homes to shelter in makeshift camps set up by police.

“Shoot-at-sight orders have been issued and curfew has been imposed in the violence-hit areas,” Assam’s chief minister, Tarun Gogoi, said. Tribals in the state have often been at loggerheads with the Muslim settlers from Bangladesh who have settled on vacant land over the past few decades.

Many bodies were charred to death and more than a dozen people with serious burn injuries have been shifted to hospital in Guwahati, the state’s main city.

“The situation is very tense as miscreants are setting houses on fire and targeting people despite the presence of such a huge deployment of forces,” a senior police officer, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

Authorities have called in army and paramilitary forces to control the violence that left more than 100 people wounded. “The local administration failed to take immediate action to control the situation when the trouble initially started and later it flared up,” Gogoi said.

Ringed by China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan, India’s northeast is home to more than 200 tribes and has been racked by separatist revolts since the country won independence from Britain in 1947.

Posted by: MiracleStudios.us

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