[QODLink]
Asia
Violent clashes spread in India's Assam
Fighting between Bodo tribespeople and Muslim settlers in northeastern Assam state have killed at least 36 people.
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2012 12:52

Violence is spreading in northeast Assam state after nine more people were killed in overnight clashes between ethnic groups in India's northeast, bringing the death toll to 36 with about 170,000 villagers displaced by the unrest, officials say.

"The situation is tense and we are getting additional paramilitary troopers," Assam police chief JN Choudhury told reporters on Wednesday.

Rioting between Bodo tribespeople and Muslim settlers has raged for days in a region near Bangladesh.

Indian security forces patrolled deserted streets on Wednesday, and were given orders to shoot on sight, officials said.

Hagrama Mohilary, chief of the Bodoland Territorial Council, a local government body, told the AFP news agency that "an estimated 170,000 are sheltered in government-run relief camps".

A curfew is in place and government troops have been deployed in the area, Al Jazeera's Prerna Suri reported from Assam's capital Guwahati.

Ringed by China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan, India's northeast is home to more than 200 ethnic and tribal groups and has been wrecked by separatist revolts since India's independence from Britain in 1947.

Muslim Bangladeshis make up most of the illegal immigrants.

Anti-Muslim sentiment

In recent years, Hindu and Christian tribes have begun to give vent to strong anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment against Bangladeshi settlers.

The latest wave of violence was sparked on Friday night when unidentified men killed four youth in the state's Bodo tribe-dominated Kokrajhar district near the borders of Bangladesh and Bhutan, police and district officials said.

In retaliation, armed Bodos attacked Muslims, suspecting them to be behind the killings.

Police said unidentified groups had fired indiscriminately with automatic weapons in populated areas over the weekend.

On Sunday, the body of a six-month-old child was found by villagers on a river bank along with the body of a woman, police said.

On Monday afternoon, hundreds of people carrying spears squatted on the railway line linking Guwahati to New Delhi.

An official said they had stopped an express train for several hours, demanding that the authorities release several men detained in connection with the killings of the four youth.

Businesses, offices and schools have been closed in areas affected by the unrest and soldiers and federal paramilitary forces have been patrolling remote districts.

367

Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
join our mailing list