Ethnic clashes rock northeast India

At least 33 killed in fighting between tribesmen and Bangladeshi settlers in Assam.

    Thousands of people have fled the fighting
    and their burning homes [EPA]

    "Shoot-on-sight orders have been issued and curfew has been imposed in the violence-hit areas," Tarun Gogoi, Assam's chief minister, said.

    Others were burned to death when attackers set fire to homes belonging to members of the rival community, police said.

    More than one dozen people have been admitted to hospital in Guwahati, Assam's main city, with serious burns.

    Arson attacks

    Police and paramilitary troops opened fire in at least three separate locations in an attempt to stop arson attacks, officials said.

    More than 400 homes have been torched and at least 30,000 people have fled their villages in an area which is partly controlled by the Bodo as part of a deal that saw many of the tribal people abandon claims for an independent homeland.

    "The picture is hazy and compilation of casualty figures has become difficult because of the continuing arson," Himanta Biswa Sarma, a state government spokesman, said. "We are mobilising all resources to control the situation."

    An indefinite curfew has been imposed in the northern districts of Assam and army and paramilitary forces have been brought in to restore calm.

    The Bodos and Muslim immigrants have clashed sporadically over land disputes in the region. Throughout the 1990s, at least 250 people were killed and an estimated 300,000 displaced as a result of the violence.

    Northeast India is home to more than 200 tribes and has seen a number of violent uprisings by groups demanding autonomy since the country gained independence from Britain in 1947.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.