In an exclusive interview with CNN-IBN, Assam’s Director General of Police Jayanta Choudhury says the mixture of population in areas like Kokrajhar district make policing the area difficult and even though a temporary peace can be achieved for now, it will not be easy to bring an equilibrium in the area which is acceptable to all.
Q: You had gone to the spot to assess the situation, what did you see importantly why it is talking so long for the Assam government to bring the situation under control?
A: Well you have to look at the area. The terrain is dispersed, the villages are dispersed, and you have a mix of population. So to police over the whole area you need not just one or two pickets, you need many all over the place. We have now deployed the force that is why in the past 24 hours there been few minor incidents but no major incidents.
Q: But the fact is 40 people have died already, over 2 lakhs displaced. A report that has come out today saying that the Meghalaya Governer, and also former IPS officer and NSG chief, Ranjit Mooshahary has held the Assam government resoponsible for the communal flare up. He also claimed that the Assam government was unable to prevent the clashes despite having prior indication. Did you have prior information as early as may that there could be trouble and why did you not act sir then?
A: Well he is an esteemed and very experienced professional. Perhaps it won’t be appropriate on my part to comment. He certainly has very good sources of information, so I have nothing to say to what he has said.
Q:Wasn’t there tension in Kokrajhar since May?
A: This has always been an explosive area. You have a mix of population, you have people who are unhappy with the system. Not just today or tomorrow but for years to come you will have troubles in this area.
Q: The Bodoland territorial chief Hagrama Mohilary has demanded immediate sealing Indo-Bangladesh border. But clearly that can’t be the only reason. Is it just illegal migration from Bangladesh that is cause of the violence? What was the state intelligence forces doing? If there is already Army, Para-military forces present in the area then why this flare up? What is exact cause of this sir?
A: As I said you have to go to the ground to see the dispersal of the villages and the population mix. And also the very high emotion that runs through because of various factors like the political and social. And of course, the hunger for land. So its not merely a law and order problem. If you see earlier flare ups in Assam for the past twenty years, the Bodos and the Adivasis, the Bodos and the other communities, this is something we gonna have to learn to resolve. Right now its certainly not a comfortable equilibrium.
Q: There have also been hints drop that the Bodo militant groups, like NDFB, are also involved in the violence. Did you have any information of militant groups also perhaps being involved in the violence?
A: Well the NDFB belongs to the Bodo community. And yes its possible that individuals from the NDFB were involved. We have no evidence that they are involved in killings but their presence is certainly a possibility. A very, very strong possibility.
Q: On one hand you have Bengali Muslim groups on the other hand Bodo groups. Are the peace efforts in the ground working sir? Do you get a sense that a situation is going to get back to normal in the next 24 hrs?
A: Our objective in the next 48 hrs is to maintain what we have done in the past 24 hrs, so that there are no major incidents of violence. An all party delegation will go tomorrow and they will do their work to try to get the community leaders together. Once that happens, hopefully in the next week or so, we will be in the process of beginning normalization. So many people are living out of the villages and till they go back you cannot claim normalcy. At least we can began the process, we can take the first step.