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'Report on Assam riots has inflammatory comments'

Wednesday August 22, 2012 09:21:55 AM, IANS

New Delhi: The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) Tuesday slammed a report of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) on Assam violence, saying it contains "biased and inflammatory" comments with potential to "radicalise Muslims".

In a post on its website, the New Delhi-based human rights organisation with special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (Unesco), said that the NCM had effectively reduced the riots in Assam to "Bodos vs Muslims" wherein Muslims had been defined as "minorities".

NCM member K.N. Daruwalla along with Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed visited violence affected Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) and Dhubri district in Assam earlier this month and gave their report.

The ACHR said 15 percent of Bodos were Christians while about 50 percent follow their animist religion and the rest are Hindus.

"The Bodos, who are followers of Christianity and animist 'Bathou' religion have been effectively defined as a majority in clear violation of the NCM Act," the ACHR said.

The ACHR said the delegation of the NCM visited only one Bodo camp where situation was better than other relief camps simply because it was in the heart of the town.

"The NCM has failed to expose the deplorable conditions of the Bodo relief camps outside the main towns. Therefore, the inferences drawn by the NCM are inaccurate," the ACHR said.

It said in case of Muslims abandoning their villages, the NCM had opined that there was a "design to see that they do not return to their own villages" but had not talked of any such design in case of the Bodos.

"The NCM failed to ensure impartiality at a time when it is clear that both the Bodos and the Muslims are scared to return to their respective villages surrounded by other communities," the ACHR said.

Over 400,000 people were uprooted and over 75 killed in the violence between tribal Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslims which broke out in Kokrajhar in July and spread to other areas.







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