Fear grips Hindi speakers as orgy continues in Assam

By Syed Zarir Hussain, IANS

Guwahati : Separatists in Assam have turned the state into a veritable killing field by massacring 27 people, including 19 Hindi speaking migrant workers, in coordinated attacks, sparking off panic and exodus of labourers.

Support TwoCircles

The latest in a wave of brutal attacks on Hindi-speakers was late Friday when heavily armed rebels killed 11 people from two families in Dolamura village in eastern Assam’s Karbi Anglong district.

The attacks have triggered fear and panic among hundreds of Hindi speakers, most of them working in brick kilns and doing odd jobs in Assam.

“There is a fear about more such attacks. We are really worried. We have been residing in Assam for decades, but now we don’t know whether to stay put or flee to safer areas,” said Harish Tiwari, an elderly businessman originally hailing from Bihar.

On Wednesday, eight Hindi speaking workers were killed in the same district.

The police blamed the attacks on the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the Karbi Longri National Liberation Front (KLNLF), both working in tandem in parts of Karbi Anglong district.

“The attacks were reminiscent of the one we saw in January, and hence there is panic. Many Hindi speaking families have fled their homes in villages and are taking shelter in towns,” said Manoj Chauhan, another trader in eastern Assam’s Golaghat distruct.

ULFA rebels in eastern Assam killed over 80 people, mostly Hindi speakers, in savage attacks in January.

“The militants did not even spare women and children in the last two massacres in which 19 Hindi speaking people lost their lives,” Lajja Ram Bishnoi, deputy inspector general of police in Karbi Anglong district, said over telephone.

“There is no security for people like us and it is better to leave than die here,” said Prakash Sahu, a despondent brick kiln worker.

The death dance began Friday with ULFA rebels killing three people and wounding 10 more in a powerful explosion in the eastern district of Jorhat – in all there have been nine separate blasts across the state so far.

In 2000, ULFA militants killed at least 100 Hindi speaking people in a series of well-planned attacks after the rebel group vowed to free the state of all non-Assamese migrant workers.

Most victims were from Bihar who have made Assam their home for decades.

The state government has sent additional paramilitary troopers to eastern Assam besides launching a military offensive against the rebels.

“We have asked the security forces, including the army, to take effective steps to curb the violence,” Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told IANS.