Justice still seems to be a mirage for the communal riot victims living in the villages of Baksa district under Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).
Fear writs large on the faces of the residents of Nonke-Khagrabari and Narayanguri villages in Baksa district under Gobardhana Police Station.
The Muslim villagers still shudder when they recount the fateful day of May 2, 2014, when in broad daylight 38 people were killed in cold blood by NDFB (S) militants. The dead included a lot of children and women.
Seven years down the line, the kin of the victims still awaits justice. They wonder if they will be alive to see the terrorists who carried out the ghastly crime get punished.
Fumes the All BTC Minority Students’ Union leader, Ibrahim Ali Ahmed, “If the Sonowal government and the BTC authorities are thinking that the minority community people will forget all about the carnage, they are sadly mistaken. We will not give up until adequate compensation and jobs are given to the next of the kin of the victims and the terrorists who carried out the mindless killings are adequately punished.”
“The 26 persons who were arrested for their alleged involvement in the carnage – which includes six forest volunteers and a ranger of the Manas National Park – are all out on bail now due to legal loopholes,” he further remarked.
Ibrahim also lamented that both the Sonowal government and the BTC authorities have done “precious little” to protect the lives of the people belonging to the minority community.
“The murderers are roaming scot-free with the blessings of the BTC authorities. The Assam government as well as the BTC has a care-a-hoot attitude as far as protecting the lives and property of the religious minority community are concerned. We are subjected to such brutality from time to time and yet the powers that be remain a mute spectator,” Ibrahim further remarked.
The survivors of the carnage recount how the forest volunteers, instead of saving their lives, started pumping bullets and did not even spare the women and children. They even set the houses of the minority community people on fire.
Dead bodies and gun shots continue to haunt the survivors of the carnage. The Assam government had then asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the killings which “led to nothing”.
“The accused personnel of Forest Department who are roaming scot-free have, in fact, been promoted by the BTC authorities during the trial stage of the case which is very unfortunate,” stated a furious Ibrahim.
He also alleged that the next of the kin of the victims have received a “peanut” amount in the name of compensation.