GUWAHATI, July 29 � The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is of the view that the pressure on land is one of the main reasons for the recent ethnic disturbance in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) area. The MHA has also ruled out the possibility of dissolving the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).
Highly placed sources in the MHA told The Assam Tribune that a high level team of the Ministry visited the affected areas to take stock of the situation and found that there had been a feeling among the Bodo people that their land was being occupied by suspected immigrants and that resulted in tension in the area for some time. However, the MHA has no proof of miscreants coming from outside to indulge in acts of violence as claimed by the BTC chief Hagrama Mahilary.
Sources said that the tension in the BTAD area was building up for some time, but the Central and State Governments did not apprehend that the situation would go out of control. However, the lynching of four ex-BLT cadres near Kokrajhar flared up the situation. No one apprehended such an attack on ex BLT men, which was the immediate provocation for the flaring up of the situation, sources added.
On the claim by the State Government that the Central forces arrived late, sources pointed out that mobilizing forces within a short notice was not the easiest of tasks. Sources said that when the trouble broke out, the State Government had 90 companies of Central paramilitary forces at its disposal. The MHA asked the State Government to relocate the available forces to increase the strength of the forces in the trouble torn areas till additional forces could be mobilized.
Sources revealed that as many as 74 additional companies of paramilitary forces were rushed to the BTAD area to bring the situation under control. The forces were withdrawn from states like West Bengal, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh to be rushed to BTAD area, sources added.
On the demand of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) for dissolving the BTC, sources said that the matter is not under consideration of the Centre. �There is no immediate possibility of considering the demand for dissolving the BTC,� sources added. Sources also hoped that the State Government would institute a probe into the reasons behind the clashes and the demand for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is under consideration of the MHA.