Assamese, tribal leaders condemn violence

December 25th, 2007 - 3:54 pm ICT by admin  

By Peter Alex Todd
Guwahati, Dec 25 (ANI): Opposition is building up against violence perpetrated by various militant groups in the State.
The tribals, for whose cause the violence is ostensibly taking place, feel that the incidents only results in alienating them from the rest of the country, and realise that violence is not helping in furthering their cause.
The bomb blasts that occur in Railway trains, they feel, only distance them from the rest of the country and not helping them to get the desired Scheduled Tribe status.
The blast on the train in Dibrugarh on December 12 only earned them a bad name. It is suspected that the powerful blast on the Dibrugarh-Guwahati-Delhi Rajdhani Express in which five people were killed and nine others injured was the handiwork of the All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA).
Md. Islam, a taxi driver, said: “Whichever party has done it, has done a very wrong thing. These things would not benefit the nation. It would be a loss for all of us.”
Phanenmo Rengma, a lecturer, said: “All of us are against it (violence). We are responsible citizens and should see that these incidents don’t happen.”
Nihan Anglong Youth Association Secretary Benting Tero has appealed the AANLA to leave the path of violence and return to the negotiating table.
Tribal leaders have condemned the violent acts.
All Assam Tribal Sangh Dhiren Ingti Joint Secretary said: “Violence is not the solution to any problem. Violence always has opposite reaction, which is nothing but violence.”
The residents want that the Central Government to grant the promised Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the tribals in Assam.
One of the main demands of the tribal groups in Assam is giving them the ST status, which they feel has been denied to them in 1951, while other tribal groups in the country were given that status.
Debeshwar Sonowal, a resident, said “Government is not doing right. It has said that it will provide the status to them and now they are not taking any step.”
Union Tribal Affairs Minister PR Kyndia, recently, met tribal leaders from Assam on this issue and assured that the government will approach the issue with an open mind. Six tribal groups were invited for talks but only two turned up. They were critical of the Rajdhani train blast.
Tai-Ahom group Working President Nava Phukan said: “We are against all kinds of violence. Violence can’t solve any problem. There has to be a dialogue process.”
Koch Rajbongshi President Abhijit Talukdar said: “We don’t have faith on violence. But everyone has a limit to tolerate. We condemn this incident and we believe that in future that they will remain away from these types of incidents.”
The Assam government is thinking of banning the violent adivasi group very soon.
Analysts feel that an outfit like, AANLA, which does not have strength of more than 100 cadres, should be dealt with firmly.
“These small groups can establish network with the bigger groups and emerge as bigger outfit,” said Bibhou Prasad Routary, an analyst at the Institute of Conflict Management.
Routary said that violence is the result of indifferent attitude towards these outfits since they have been formed. He suggested that the ceasefire method adopted for peace in the region must not end with the agreement, but should end the insurgent movement.
“You cannot have ceasefire and let these outfits carry out their operation as what has happened in Nagaland. We have ten-year-old ceasefire with NSCN-IM and six year with NSCN-K, but close to 150 deaths occur in Nagaland every year due to internal conflicts,” said Routary. (ANI)

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