Press Statements

Indian Muslims in US write to Prez Pranab on Assam Communal Violence

May 5, 2014
His Excellency President Pranab Mukerjee
President of India
New Delhi, India
Through:  Ambassador of India to US,  His Excellency Mr Jaishankar
Subject: Sectarian violence against Muslims in Assam
Your Excellency Mr President

It is with deep anguish and alarm that many Non Resident Indians who live in North America have learned of the gruesome violence perpetrated on May 1 and May 2, by some sectarian elements belonging to the Bodo Hindu community on the Muslim citizens in Baksa, Chirang and Kokrajhar districts in Assam.  Over 35 innocent Muslim men, women and children are reported to have perished when a group of violent Bodo Hindus attacked the Muslim communities in the above districts.  The heavily armed marauders also destroyed and set on fire a large number of houses belonging to the people of the Muslim communities in these districts.

Indian media has reported that this unwarranted attack by some Bodo people on the local Muslim community resulted from the suspicion of the Bodo community that Muslims may not have voted for the Bodo candidates in the current parliamentary election.   

It is very regrettable that being fully aware of the election eve tension between the local Bodo Hindu community and the Muslim community in the above districts, the government of Assam still did not take effective steps to prevent the gruesome violence on the unarmed Muslim civilians.  Indeed such large scale election- eve killing of innocent Muslims is a blot on the democratic and secular structure of the Indian nation, that guarantees  freedom to all citizens to exercise their electoral franchise and hold political views peacefully  in a manner of their choice.  It also further threatens the ability of these two communities to co-exist peacefully in the state of Assam.

We a Non Governmental Organization of Non Resident Indian Muslims who live in North America appeal to you to instruct the government of the state of Assam to: station adequate number of military personnel in the above districts for as long as it is necessary; build permanent strong police precincts in the affected and vulnerable areas to ensure that peace is fully restored in the area and the Muslim citizens can lead their lives peacefully.  Also the government should provide adequate monetary relief to the families of the victims who have lost their lives and to rebuild the houses that have been destroyed in the sectarian violence.  We appeal to you to also instruct the Indian government and the government of the state of Assam accordingly.

With respectful regards and thanks.
Sincerely Yours
Kaleem Kawaja
Executive Director
PO Box 10654, Silver Spring, MD 20914, USA

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