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Muslims Killed by Bodo Rebels Over Politics

Ethnic violence strikes once again in India this week. With the murder of more than 32 people, there has been violence in the state of Assam between the Bodo tribe rebels and victim Muslims.

As of May 3rd, 22 people had been arrested for the killing of the Muslims in Assam. The assault was led by the rebels of the Bodo tribe, who make up 10% of the 33 million people in Assam.  The conflict came in 3 separate attacks, which continued from Thursday night to Friday morning. On Thursday night, in the Baksa district, 3 people died, while two were wounded by eight rebels. In addition, four hooded men invading 2 homes killed eight more people in the Kokrajhar district. The third attack took place Friday evening where a group of militants burned 40 Muslim homes, resulting in the death of several more people. Not only did they set 40 houses ablaze, but they also opened fire on the Muslims as well. Twelve bodies were recovered, but they were all dead.

This type of violence is not something new for the local Muslims. In 2012, similar violence resulted in the death of 100 people. Police have said that it was, “the worst outbreak of ethnic violence in the remote northeastern region in two years.” Luckily, there hasn’t been any more violence recently, but local television shows have reported that the violence displaced over 400 people who left the Dhubri District because of the violence.

The attacks are believed to be because of politics. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister candidate and current PM-elect, “called for tighter border controls.” People want Modi to take action, but are pessimistic because of his track record of not taking action during the 2002 Hindu and Muslim riots in Gujarat, where one thousand people died. Among all the conflict between Bodo rebels and the Muslim population occurring for years, this attack was the most severe. Some Bodo people lashed out at the Muslims who did not vote for the Bodo People’s Front in the recent election.

In 2014, ethnic violence should not be tolerated and political issues do not justify any sort of violence in a modern democratic country. Sadly, the Muslims were specifically targeted and had their family killed, along with getting their homes burned, all because some people were desperate to have more votes. It is time for politicians and voters in India to move towards a safe voting environment.

[Image Attribute: Flick User: Ahinsajain]
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