As Assam burns, Cong, BJP play poll politics
On Saturday, the Congress party blamed BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi of using divisive rhetoric that has led to the riots in Assam. ‘Modi is a model of dividing India,’ said union law minister Kapil Sibal.
‘In Assam, 30 Muslims were murdered. Why? Because BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi made a speech there and tried to incite people against Muslims. This is a fact. This truth cannot be denied,’ J&K chief minister Omar told an election rally at Tangmarg in Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency.
Modi had said last week in Assam that illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in the nearby state of West Bengal should have their ‘bags packed’ in case he came to power, accusing the state government of being too soft.
But the BJP said it was the responsibility of the Congress party that governs the state to ensure law and order and crack down on militants.
Addressing a press conference, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad blamed the Tarun Gogoi government in Assam and the UPA government at the Centre for complicity in the violence.
‘The BJP accuses the Tarun Gogoi government and the Centre for inaction in Assam,’ Prasad said.
‘It is due to votebank politics that the Tarun Gogoi government is not doing enough to check violence in that region,’ Prasad added.
Meanwhile, there seems to be no end to the bloodbath in Assam as seven more bodies were found in Baksa district on Saturday, taking the total death toll to 32 in the last 36 hours. This comes after suspected Bodoland militants killed at least 23 people in a span of 24 hours in Kokrajhar and Baksa districts of lower Assam. Curfew has been clamped in all of Kokrajhar, Baksa and Chirang, three of the four districts of the Bodoland area, and on contiguous areas in neighbouring districts. The Army has carried out flag marches, and shoot-on-sight orders have been issued in Kokrajhar and Baksa.
The state government has accused the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland of carrying out the killings. All the victims are migrant Muslims. The government has denied any connection between the attacks and the Lok Sabha elections. However, one of the three massacres has taken place in a village that saw violence and the killing of a police constable as Kokrajhar went to polls on April 24. Around 7.30 pm on Thursday, militants shot dead two women and a man of a family in Narsingpara village in the Anandabazar police station area of Baksa district. The victims were identified as Shampa Bewa (55), Sona Miya (35) and Ramisa Khatun (32).