Northeast tribal bodies want Assam ethnic clashes to be stopped

October 11th, 2008 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Oct 11 (IANS) Parties representing tribals in the northeast Saturday urged the central government to take stern action to stop ethnic clashes in Assam.The Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), North-East Students’ Organisation (NESO), National Conference of Tripura (NCT) and United Democratic Alliance (UDA) have expressed serious concern over the recent ethnic clashes in Assam.

“If the central and Assam governments fail to take stern action, the situation would go out of control,” said INPT general secretary Rabindra Debbarma.

“Unchecked infiltration from across the border is the root cause of these ethnic violence,” Debbarma, a former Tripura minister, told journalists.

At least 55 people were killed and more than 100 injured in violent clashes between tribal Bodos and migrant Muslims settlers and subsequent police firing last week in two Assam districts, Udalguri and Darrang.

Influential organizations like the NESO, the NCT and UDA, a conglomeration of various Mizoram-based tribal parties, have also asked the governments to take steps to prevent recurrence of such ethnic clashes.

NESO vice-chairman Upendra Debbarma said: “Tribal and non-tribals in the northeast should live together with communal harmony.”

NCT general secretary Animesh Debbarma said: “Infiltration alone cannot be the reason for the clashes. Fundamentalist elements are also responsible for such type of ethnic violence.”

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