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Kokrajhar Muslims suffer in silence

Muslims in Kokrajhar district of Assam have been living in perpetual fear for over a decade. Bodo terrorists have put their life and property under constant threat by means of extortion , eviction and indiscriminate killings. The Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) have recently fixed ‘taxes’ to be paid by the non-Bodos during 2000-2001 at the following rates:

Rikshaw Rs  50.00
Land (per bigha) Rs 85.00
Grade IV Staff Rs 100.00
Clerk Rs 200.00
Teacher  Rs 300.00
Doctor/ Engineer Rs 500.00
Pan shop Rs 150.00
Tea stall Rs 300.00
Bus/Truck Rs 2000.00
Grocery Rs 200.00
Tea garden  Rs 20,000.00
Taxi/Maruti Rs 500.00
Auto Rikshaw Rs 200.00
Rice Mill Rs 500.00

People who fail to pay the ‘taxes’ are either tortured or killed. Hundreds of Muslims along with other non-Bodos are already compelled by the Bodo terrorists to live as ‘refugees’ in their own land for the past several years. They are yet to be rehabilitated or resettled. Moreover, they are being dubbed as ‘Bangladeshis’ so that they do not receive any sympathy from any quarter. They are poor and illiterate cultivators of land. What makes their plight worse is that they are leaderless. There is hardly any effort on the part of the state government to probe their grievances and ameliorate their plight. Hundreds of them have been killed by the terrorists during the last 10 years.

These unfortunate people are so frightened and exploited that they are not in a position to make their voices and grievances heard or to assert their human rights. Condition of orphans and widows is the worst.

Muslims of the district have been living with only one hope that God will protect them and one day their persecution will come to an end. The national commissions for minorities and human rights and the NGOs are yet to take any interest in their plight.


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