What is the reason behind Assam Riots?Why the riots broke out in this North-Eastern state of India?
It began with killing of four bodo tribal youth on Friday in Kokrajhar district of Assam.They were killed by unidentified people but taking them to be persons of muslim community, armed bodo tribals launched attack on muslims.
Bodo tribals and Muslims- A history mired in bloodshed
Bodo tribals have in the past targetted Muslims,Marwaris and Biharis.It goes back to the pre-independence history of the region when Bengalis were brought to Assam to do administrative jobs as indigenous bodo community-oldest inhabitant of brahmputra valley was not as educated as the bengalis.
Bodo tribes are mostly hindu with a sizeable christian population.Thus giving the riots a communal tint.This is the reason why media is widely reporting the riots to be hindu-muslim riots.
In 1983, more than 3000 people died in Nellie riots in Assam when tribals and muslims clashed.
Influx of Bangladeshi Immigrants
Bodo tribals once formed the largest social group in Assam.Due to influx of bangladeshi migrants in the region, they have been reduced to a small section of the society now.Muslims speak Bengali and thus in addition to religion, langauge complicates the difference between the two communities.One of the pressing demands of bodo tribals in addition to autnomy-a separate state is sending back of bangladeshi migrants.Although central government was swift to deny any bangladeshi hand in the riots this time but even if they are indian muslims who are involved in violent clashes with the tribals this time, problem has been complicated by influx of migrants as any mischeif is accredited to them by the tribals.