Adivasis cry foul, allege political conspiracy

Adivasis cry foul, allege political conspiracy

Even as the dust is gradually settling down days after the ethnic clashes between Bodos and non-Bodos in Assam, there are talks about a political conspiracy behind the recent attacks on Adivasis.

While accusations and counter-accusations fly, most political outfits believe the attacks on December 23 were orchestrated.

In the middle of the storm is Hagrama Moilary, chief of the Bodo Territorial Council (BTC), the administrative body for the autonomous Bodoland Territorial Area District, cutting across four districts in upper Assam.

Moilary’s political ambitions have been a matter of discussion and his alleged association with the Sangbiijit Brahma-led faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland has often come in question.

Moilary prefers to remain in the background and repeated requests to meet him or other senior leaders of the Bodo People’s Front (BPF) for interviews have failed.

Sources within the BPF said that although the leader is yet powerful and influential, the strong grip he had earlier might have loosened a bit.

“Things changed when non-Bodos unanimously voted for Heera Saraniya as the local MP. It was a shock for Moilary and other BPF leaders. There are concerns that non-Bodos might fare well in BTC elections next year. The party is working out strategies to improve its condition,” the source said.

Pramod Bodo, president of the All Bodoland Students’ Union, avoided the question and said that it is not known whether Moilary actually has any links with Sangbijit. He, however, admitted that the BPF misrule is a cause behind the attacks and ethnic clashes.
“Since BTC elections are nearby, may be some people are trying to create a rift between Bodos and non-Bodos,” he said. Rafael Kujur, president of the All Adivasi Students’ Association of Assam, however, countered him and shared his belief of a “deep political conspiracy towards ethnic cleansing of Adivasis”.

Saraniya, however, is categorical that without support from Moilary, the NDFB (S) would not launch an unprovoked attack on Adivasis.

“It’s not possible for the NDFB (S) to do it just by itself. Others must be involved. The whole Bodo leadership is to blame,” he said. Saraniya pointed out that there have been serious allegations of Sangbijit being paid before polls to scare opponents by BPF MPs, R P Sharma and Raman Deka.

“There have been inquiries against Sharma. Prominent RTI activist Akhil Gogoi has even said he can provide evidence if the NIA or a central agency probes the links between Bodo leaders and militant groups,” Saraniya said.

While Muslim leaders echoed similar accusations, state BJP president Siddhartha Bhattacharya hinted at a connection between Moilary and Sangbijit.

“Political conspiracy is an apprehension and sometimes they come true. It’s true that Hagrama is cornered and he can go to any length for political superiority,” he said.

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