Twist in the Tail: 19 Bodo People Arrested in Udalguri, Assam (Northeast India)

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Situation in Udalguri district, Assam is taking an ugly turn following public beating of an alleged child lifter (Xopadhara) in Udalguri town area on 10 June 2016. According to some inconclusive ground report, three of the accused, all from Udalguri town area, were trying to take away children from Kapurpara area which is little more than two kilometres away from Udalguri town. They were chased and one of them named Depankar Deury was caught near the energy station in Golma Chowk which half a kilometre from the local police station.


The new Scorpio in which they were travelling was set ablazed by the furious mob. The accused was taken away by police and admitted to Udalguri Civil Hospital for minor injuries. While two of the trafficker managed to escape from the spot unhurt, people say. The incident happened after days of hearsay of human trafficking cases in the area.

Now there is a new twist in the story. Although this is an isolated case, forces within the dominant caste are trying portray this incident as a counter attack of brutal attempt to murder of a tribal boy in Harisinga on 30 May 2016. Sinister designs are being made to give a communal overtone on the event, people say. Media, which remained complete silent on Harisinga attempt to murder case, all of a sudden woke up stressing out yesterday’s incident to a communal angle. It has already created a tense situation. Udalguri town remains closed today and Sec 144 of CrPC has been clamped in the entire area.

It is rather surprising; 19 Bodo people, including juveniles were arrested last night from Kapurpara area without any arrest warrant for interrogation. Again, two people were taken to custody this morning while they went to visit their dear ones  kept in the police custody. Some women were beaten up.They are tortured them, admitted in Udalguri Civil Hospital and taken to police custody last night. One of them even fractured his hands. They are likely to be produced at Udalguri court today.

When police couldn’t arrest all the accused in Harisinga violence eve after two weeks, they were quick enough to nab the civilians, who wanted to catch the alleged abductors. This indicates double-standard police administration.

According to local sources, police, CRPF and people from the accused community came to Kapurpara village, broke the doors and beat them up severely. It is learnt that those taken to police custody were not even involved in the incident.

Situation is Udalguri is already tense following brutal torture of a tribal juvenile. It calls for an utmost restraint on the part of the media and civil society. Biased police action will further complicate and inflame the situation on communal lines. The local district administration must engage in proper investigation without harassing the public. Stop calling this incident “Bodo Vs Non-Bodos”.



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