Assam Strife: Dichotomy in Granular Narratives

Two weeks after the bloodbath in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts of Assam, (Northeast India), the intelligence bureau and the State government have failed throw any light who is behind the scene. Much has been said about the violence but there seems to be an endless dichotomy in the official narratives. The usual suspect is on the splinter group of National Demicratic Front of Boroland (NDFBNDFB), an armed group led by a Non-Bodo leader “IK Songbijit” who is alleged to be under the toes of an Assamese outfit called ‘United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA-Independent)’ led by chief Paresh Baruah.

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According to Intelligence Bureau, “On December 23, at 12.40 pm, the premier intelligence agency intercepted a phone call where Bidai is giving out directions to his men to attack the tribals. Since it was in Bodo language, it took them two hours to decipher it. By the time they understood the context, it was already 2.40 pm (Indian Express, 27 Dec 2014). It does not end here. The granular narratives continue to fascinate headline hunters.

Again, on 2 January 2014, the Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) SN Singh said, “December 23 carnage, in which over 70 persons were killed, was executed without the knowledge of NDFB chief IK Songbijit. Songbijit was not aware of the plan. He was in Myanmar. It was the most wanted senior leader of the NDFB (S) faction Bidai who orchestrated the violence in five different areas in Sonitpur and BTAD ” Singh said (The Assam Tribune, 3 January 2015). He said Bidai had ordered the killings to avenge the death of two NDFB (S) cadres in an encounter and that Songbijit was in Myanmar for the past six months (The Telegraph, 3January 2015).

However, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has rejected the state police claim that the recent massacre of villagers was carried out at the directive of G. Bidai, the number two leader in the Songbijit faction of the outfit, keeping the outfit’s chief in the dark. He said: “I cannot agree that the large scale killing of innocent people was carried out without the consent and knowledge of the NDFB (S) chief (I.K. Songbijit). The state government and the Centre do not have any such information. Songbijit must have given his consent to Bidai…” (The Telegraph, 3 January 2015.).

If there is a grain of truth then both Assam Chief Minister and IGP possibly could have spoken the same language at a time when innocent blood is spilling out of remote inaccessible villages. What stands obvious is a clear cloud of doubts is filling the public sphere- confusing the masses, but making a sexy news headline. For a curious observer these contradictory of statements, indicate whether the government has a clear picture of the perpetrators of the violence. The official briefings given by both the State and intelligence wing are no different from that of some fanatical media reports.

As tax payers of the country, people have every right to know what the “TRUTH” is. Till now the country is mystified by some half-baked journalistic accounts and conflicting official briefings. Uninformed people are now dancing to random tunes of media and state agencies. Consent that is manufactured in some elites controlled media lab has immensely reduced the burden of State agencies’ intelligent way of information gathering. In fact what followed after the strife was ‘media terror’ that ceaselessly engaged in sensational reporting. The end result of which is there is no intelligent reports till now.

The pictures attached stand as a testimony what is being said above.


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