Judicial Inquiry Sought Over Missionary Involvement in Tribal Killings
Posted October 22, 2005
Saturday, Oct 22, 2005
The Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded a judicial inquiry into the violence in Karbi Anglong district of Assam by a sitting judge of a High Court and immediate relief and compensation to the victims.
A 10-member BJP team led by Rajya Sabha MP and in-charge of Assam political affairs, S.S. Ahluwalia, returned here after a two-day visit to the affected areas. Addressing presspersons on Friday, he charged the Government with "focussing on the victims of the earthquake in Jammu and Kashmir and neglecting the tribals affected by the violence that has left 79 persons dead".
Mr. Ahluwalia alleged that the Congress could be behind the violence because the chairman of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council was a Congressman as were the MP and MLAs of the area. But to a question, he said he did not think the same logic could apply to the 2002 Gujarat riots when a BJP Chief Minister and a BJP Prime Minister were in place.
He said the Autonomous Council should be dissolved and the Governor should directly takeover relief and rehabilitation. A three-page memorandum was submitted to the Governor.
He charged the missionaries doing relief work in the area with using the opportunity to "convert" the victims to Christianity. "I saw chains with crosses around the necks of some victims," he said. Yet another suspect in the BJP's eyes was the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isaac Muivah) since the Karbi Anglong district touches Nagaland and this area "was part of the NSCN-IM demand for a Greater Nagaland".
The party said that Karbis and another tribe in the area, Dimasas, had "lived peacefully for centuries" and that it would not be correct to blame the Dimasas for the violence as they constituted a "small three per cent minority".
The violence, he said, was the result of a "conspiracy" to divert attention from the main poll issue of scrapping of the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act. The Assembly elections are scheduled for April next.