No NDFB role in riots, says Anjali Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, Oct 13 – In a scathing attack, the Bodo Women’s Justice Forum has termed the comments of Government spokesperson Himanta Biswa Sharma on recent clashes in Udalguri and Darrang as malicious, motivated and highly provocative. Denying that the clashes could be called ethnic cleansing and were triggered by organisations like the NDFB, as emphasised by Sharma on recent occasions, the BWJF said that such comments were but a travesty of truth.
Contrary to Sarma’s claims, the recent incidents of violence could not be termed as ethnic cleansing because people from various communities including Bodo, Assamese, Santhal, Nepalese, among others, were affected. And many of those were staying in same camps, the BWJF stated.
In a press conference held in Guwahati the president of Bodo Women’s Justice Forum, Anjali Daimari said that unless Sarma restrained his views and comments, there was a possibility of more violent and aggressive acts being committed in the vulnerable areas. “Peace and amity would be a far cry if Himanta Biswa Sarma continued to voice his highly objectionable, divisive, and convoluted views, which was part of a strategy to divide the Bodo community by undermining their shared identity” she remarked.
The BWJF was of the view that at a time the people of Assam and particularly the violence-affected were looking out for genuine peace initiatives, a member of the Government who was also an official spokesperson, was repeating ‘irresponsible and disruptive opinions’.
Taking exception to Sarma questioning the BWJF’s credentials as an organisation representing the Bodo people, Daimari said that any organisation or individual with good will towards their community could voice their people’s concerns without seeking Sarma’s recognition.
In a more dramatic disclosure, she said that the recent violence in Udalguri and Darrang, was in fact the handiwork of Sarma himself. “We, like some others, know that he plans to get his wife elected to the Parliament from Mangaldoi, and it is with this aim that he has become part of a conspiracy to uproot the Bodo people from their homeland.” She said that it was due to such a design that the former Udalguri SP was prevented to act in a prompt and effective way when violence first broke out.
The BWJF president went so far to say that Sarma could also have a hand in the widely reported incident of a Pakistani flag being raised, because he could have freely moved around after local people had vacated the area. She denied that the flag was unfurled in a Bodo-dominated area, as alleged by Sarma.
The BWJF demanded that Sarma, ought to be removed from the post of Government spokesperson if the Congress-BPF Government was serious about staying in power.