Have you noticed that since the coming of the new government in Assam, things are taking a different turn? It may look that what have happened in the past few months are all unconnected. Yes, they all look apparently unconnected, but if one observes them carefully one sees a pattern in them which is ominous.

What is the first thing that was flaunted and still being flaunted as a Big bang by the new government? First, the Chief Minister smelled a rat in the home and police departments which he overhauled. Then apparently police were given a free hand. The police got a free hand and they went in full swing in apprehending the criminals.

Then we began to hear about the police encounters happening too frequently in the state. That is still on. Thereafter, a cow protection bill was passed in the Assembly. Things were taking place too fast. We don’t know whether someone engineered them or they were happening spontaneously.

There took place an infamous clash at the Assam-Mizoram border where a few people from Assam succumbed to their injuries. Then, suddenly a ramshackle boat capsized in the river Brahmaputra between Jorhat and Majuli. A few people drowned bringing unspeakable miseries to their families. This followed the big news of the arrest of a few land mafias.

Again, since the coming of this government, it has been conducting evictions at different places from government lands. The latest case was at the eviction at Dhalpur in Darrang district.

In the beginning, I mentioned an underlining pattern of all the events which have happened recently. What is this pattern? Let us take the case of police encounters. How could there be so many police encounters suddenly? How so many criminals could try to escape from their police custody? Are these really encounters or one-sided shootings?

Didn’t the chief minister himself ask the police to shoot the criminals in a meeting of the police officers he chaired after becoming the chief minister? Did he goad them to take this extra-legal measure? We don’t know. But these are pertinent questions.  Is it normal policing? No, it is not.

The history of the police encounters in this country is always a matter of suspect. It is extra-legal and it goes against the principles of rule of law. There is another aspect to it. Not all but mostly the criminals involved in the police encounters were shown to be belonging to a particular religious community that suits the political agenda of the ruling party.  But when it touched the people belonging to the Bodo community, there was a public outburst from the community.

The objective of the cattle preservation act was clear. But, in an actual sense, it is going to affect the poor farmers of all communities more than hitting only the Muslims. Now, do we remember what happened in the border clash between Assam and Mizoram? Who did initiate it first? Six people lost their lives in this clash and immediately an economic blockade was imposed.

Because of the economic blockade, people in Mizoram suffered a lot in the absence of life-saving drugs and essential supplies. Most of the people in Mizoram belong to Christianity. Was there a motive there to teach them a lesson too? The capsizing of the boat at Nimatighat in the river Brahmaputra is not a normal accident. It was waiting to happen. It happened because of corruption and the calluses of the authorities.

The arrest of the land broker is a very intriguing thing. How the precious landed properties in the city of Guwahati are changing hands? If one studies this there will be some interesting revelations. The nexus between the powerful politicians and the real land mafia will come to the fore.

Let us discuss the issue of eviction in little detail and let us admit it candidly that the main targets of these evictions are the people whose forefathers once came to Assam from the erstwhile East Bengal. But subsequently, they have become the citizens of India and they have no connection with present Bangladesh now.

The politics in Assam is being played around these people for the last several decades. If a fine morning these people disappear from Assam by dint of some magic the most troubled people will be the BJP. They will have absolutely no issue to do politics with. So important are they for the BJP. They are the targets of all the evictions conducted by this government so far.

Things took a very ugly turn at Dholpur in the Darrang district the other day. There is no need to narrate them again here because everybody is well aware of the incident by now. There are two moot questions. Who are these people who have come and settled there for years? Are they Indian citizens?

If they are Indian citizens and internally displaced people is it not the responsibility of the government to rehabilitate them? Should they be evicted like this and killed like dogs and cats? And even if they are not Indian citizens should we not honour their human rights?

What pattern emerges from all the upheavals which have taken place in Assam? The pattern is too obvious to notice for any intelligent person. First, things are being done defying the rule of law. Secondly, clearly, they are against a particular religious community. The third thing is there is an element of corruption in them.

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Paresh Malakar

Paresh Malakar is a commentator based in Guwahati. He can be reached at: malakarparesh@gmail.com