Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 July 2014, 14:56 GMT

Northeast India: 400,000 people internally displaced following violent riots

Publisher Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)
Publication Date 8 August 2012
Cite as Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Northeast India: 400,000 people internally displaced following violent riots, 8 August 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/50387dd0c.html [accessed 22 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Communal violence between the indigenous Bodo tribes and Muslim settlers has killed at least 53 people and forced as many as 400'000 people to flee their homes in Assam State, Northeast India. Bodo tribes and (the predominantly Muslim) Bangladeshi immigrants, have a long history of violent disputes over access to land and resources. Politicians have fuelled these inter-communal tensions by blaming the so-called "infiltration of outsiders" for many of the social and economic problems in the region.

The authorities deployed the army and paramilitary forces on 24 July 2012, days after the outbreak of the violence; enforcing an indefinite curfew and shoot-at-sight orders.

Hundreds of thousands of people from both parties to the violence fled to makeshift camps in schools and other public buildings. Since the cessation of the violence, some of the IDPs have managed to return home, yet hundreds of thousands remain in the camps which are poorly equipped. Many remain in dire need of food, water, medicine and other basic necessities. There are also concerns regarding security.

Meanwhile, the government has set an ambitious deadline of the 15 August when all the people displaced by recent events are expected to return. The National Human Rights Commission has called on the state government to investigate and report on the riots within three weeks, asking specifically for information about relief and rehabilitation plans for those affected by the violence.

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