Homes set on fire, militants flee to Bhutan after Assam massacre - police

GUWAHATI, India Thu May 8, 2014 2:55pm IST

Security personnel patrol a deserted road during a curfew in Baksa district in Assam May 4, 2014. REUTERS/Utpal Baruah

Security personnel patrol a deserted road during a curfew in Baksa district in Assam May 4, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Utpal Baruah

Related Topics

GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - Several homes and stores in Assam were set on fire by unidentified persons, police said, the latest attack in an area where Muslim villagers were killed in a massacre last week.

The unrest on Wednesday night comes towards the end of a marathon national election that has heightened ethnic and religious divisions in some parts of India.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), widely expected to emerge as the largest party in elections that end next week, has strongly condemned the violence and blamed the Congress party, which runs Assam and leads the national government.

But the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, has ramped up verbal attacks on illegal immigration by Muslims from nearby Bangladesh, drawing criticism from his opponents that he is stirring up trouble.

At least 41 people were killed in Assam by suspected militants belonging to the Bodo tribe in three massacres last week. They were believed to be revenge attacks after Muslims voted against the Bodo candidate.

Security forces on Thursday said the suspected Bodo militants had since fled to neighbouring Bhutan.

India shares a border with the Himalayan country and citizens do not need any documents to travel there.

"As the border is open, it is easier for the militants to cross over," S. N. Singh, a senior police officer told reporters. He said the Indian government had asked Bhutan to keep a watch on the border.

Sporadic outbreaks of violence are common against Muslims who live alongside the Bodo tribe in western Assam, near the border with Bangladesh.

Bodo militants say the Muslims are undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh who have taken their ancestral lands, but members of the minority group say they were mostly born in India.

(Writing by Sruthi Gottipati; Editing by Tommy Wilkes & Kim Coghill)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Trade Deal

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Bullish on Equities

Bullish on Equities

Bullish on Indian equities, but gains seen 'less sharp'- Goldman Sachs  Full Article 

Facebook Results

Facebook Results

Second quarter revenue increases 61 percent  Full Article 

BRICS Bank

BRICS Bank

World Bank chief welcomes new BRICS development bank.  Full Article 

Streamlining Operations

Jet Streamlines

Jet Airways chairman says looking to restructure debts, talking to bankers  Full Article 

Political Economy

Political Economy

Analysis - Watch what markets don't do as world politics turns nasty   Full Article 

Photo

Honda's India Thrust

Honda's India unit to account for 25 pct of Asia Pacific sales by March 2017 - exec   Full Article 

 Boosting Output

Boosting Output

NMDC plans to boost iron ore output by two-thirds  Full Article 

Apple Results

Apple Results

Apple margin concerns fade, focus shifts to iPhone launch  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage