On Tuesday last, unknown miscreants crashed an election-related rally held by the Adivasi Students’ Association (ASA) at Naobandha village. Around 15-20 masked strangers with rods and spears arrived at the adivasi village and began to threaten the villagers, they have complained. The strangers then proceeded to search for local student leader Prahlad Rowtia.
“They came here under the cover of night and they were trying to find me. Had they found me, they would have murdered me for sure,” Rowtia said.
Locals have said that the men, whom they claim are associated with the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) and the Bharatiya Party (BJP), demanded to know who had paid money to the residents of the Adivasi Village.
“They wanted to know which political party had paid money to us. When we told them that it was not the case, they started to abuse,” a villager said.
“Around 25 people came here on bikes and a Bolero vehicle. Every body knows that these people are affiliated with the BJP and the UPPL parties. We were about to sit down for the talks, but they did not allow us, and started showing us around. We questioned them, but they stayed mum. They asked who is giving us money,” said a local.
It has been reported that a four-wheeler vehicle was badly damaged by the intruders and a the driver, identified as Pabitra Gorh, was badly wounded. This shocking incident has left the locals in a state of complete and utter shock.
Expressing anger over the incident, the Adivasi Students’ body has now demanded the local authorities to nab the culprits and punish them under the relevant sections of the Law.
The ASA has warned that if the Adivasis are suppressed in the lead up to the elections, the consequences could be dire.
“These thugs are trying to silence anybody who is opposing the BJP party. However, the adivasis shall not be silent this time and these scare-tactics shall not work anymore,” said an Adivasi student leader.
UDALGURI: Even as polling dates in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) draws closer, tensions are starting to once again re-surface in the troubled region that has long been a hot-bed of insurgency in the Northeastern region of India.
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