India: Information on the state of Assam in 1995, including the human rights situation, party currently in power, whether elections will be held in 1995, whether there is still insurrection, and whether the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) are still fighting
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 March 1995|
|Citation / Document Symbol||IND19467.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, India: Information on the state of Assam in 1995, including the human rights situation, party currently in power, whether elections will be held in 1995, whether there is still insurrection, and whether the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) are still fighting, 1 March 1995, IND19467.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ac5140.html [accessed 25 May 2013]|
The Congress (I) Party won the Assam State Assembly election in June 1991 and the new government, led by Hiteswar Saikia, was sworn in on 31 June (Asian Survey Oct. 1994a, 873; ibid. Oct. 1994b, 885). The Congress Party is still in power, as is Hiteswar Saikia as chief minister (Keesing's Mar. 1994, R69; People in Power Feb. 1995, 86; Europa 1994, 1438). Information on whether elections are scheduled for 1995 could not be found among the sources consulted by the DIRB.
The following information was provided in a 6 February 1995 telephone interview with Asia Watch in New York.
It is extremely difficult to get any information from Assam itself on the current situation there. The numerous Indian security forces in Assam are responsible for staged "encounter killings," extrajudicial killings of suspected militants and the rape of female relatives of suspected militants, all of which are part of an ongoing situation (6 Feb. 1995). Fighting continues between Indian security forces and members of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) (ibid.).
There has been a crack-down on dissent. Human rights activists are targeted, as are those journalists who are judged to have written material that appears either supportive of ULFA or critical of the local government (ibid.).
For information on human rights violations in Assam, please consult the January 1995 attachment from Voice of MASS, a monthly newsletter of the Assamese human rights organization Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (Organization on Struggle for Human Rights). This newsletter was sent to Asia Watch in New York from Assam and forwarded by Asia Watch to the DIRB.
Human Rights Watch World Report 1995 provides additional information on India's 1994 counterinsurgency efforts in Assam and the insurgents there (pp. 154-55). Country Reports 1994 provides brief references to Assam. Both publications are available at Regional Documentation Centres.
Information on whether the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) are still fighting could not be found among the sources consulted by the DIRB.
For background information on the Bodo struggle for independence, please consult the attachments from India Today and Far Eastern Economic Review, and the attached article by Sudhir Jacob George from Asian Survey. For background information on ULFA, please consult the attached article by Sanjib Baruah from Asian Survey.
The attachments from United Press International of 23 July 1994, The Toronto Star of 28 July 1994 and Agence France Presse of 23 January 1995 provide examples of violence carried out by Bodo militants in Assam since the summer of 1994. The attachments from The Ottawa Citizen, dated 26 February 1995, and India Abroad, dated 3 March 1995, refer to a train bombing carried out by the National Socialist Council of Nagaland.
Asia Watch's publication No End in Sight: Human Rights Violations in Assam of 18 April 1994, available at Regional Documentation Centres, provides general background information on human rights violations by the security forces and United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).
This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find attached the list of additional sources consulted in researching this information request.
Asia Watch, New York. 6 February 1995. Telephone interview with representative
Asian Survey [Berkeley] October 1994a. Vol. 34, No. 10. Sanjib Baruah. "The State and Separatist Militancy in Assam: Winning a Battle and Losing the War?"
. October 1994b. Vol. 34, No. 10. Sudhir Jacob George. "The Bodo Movement in Assam: Unrest to Accord."
The Europa World Year Book 1994. 1994. 35th ed. Vol. 1. London: Europa Publications.
Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. March 1994. Volume 40. Reference Supplement. "Assam."
People in Power. February 1995. Release No. 46. Cambridge: CIRCA Research and Reference Information.
Agence France Presse (AFP). 23 January 1995. "Tribal Gunmen Kill Nine in India." (NEXIS)
All India Radio Network [Delhi, in English]. 12 September 1994. "'Shoot-at-Sight' in Assam Targets Foreigners." (FBIS-NES-94-177 13 Sept. 1994, p. 70)
Asian Survey [Berkeley]. October 1994a. Vol. 34, No. 10. Sanjib Baruah. "The State and Separatist Militancy in Assam: Winning a Battle and Losing the War?," pp. 863-77.
. October 1994b. Vol. 34, No. 10. Sudhir Jacob George. "The Bodo Movement in Assam: Unrest to Accord," pp. 878-92.
Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) [Hong Kong]. 1 September 1994. Vol. 157, No. 35. Jayanta Sarkar. "India: Tribal Trouble: Delhi Faces the Prospect of Yet Another Insurgency," p. 26.
India Abroad [Toronto]. 3 March 1995. "Assam: 27 Die in Explosion Aboard Night Train," p. 8.
India Today [New Delhi]. 31 August 1994. Ruben Banerjee. "Assam: Stoking Ethnic Terror," pp. 42-45.
Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti [Assam]. January 1995. Voice of MASS pp. 1-18.
The Ottawa Citizen. 26 February 1995. Final Edition. "25 Die as Troop Train Struck by Bombs in India." (NEXIS)
The Toronto Star. 28 July 1994. Final Edition. "54,000 Flee Attacks by Tribal Militants in India." (NEXIS)
United Press International (UPI). 23 July 1994. BC Cycle. "India Issues Shoot-at-Sight Orders in Northeast." (NEXIS)
Additional Sources Consulted
Amnesty International Report. Yearly. 1994.
AsiaWeek [Hong Kong]. Weekly. August 1993 to present.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Yearly. 1994, 1995.
DIRB Indexed Media Review [Ottawa]. Weekly. 1995.
Documentation, Information and Research Branch (DIRB), Immigration and Refugee Board [Ottawa]. September 1994. Contextual Information Package: India.
. September 1994. Human Rights Information Package: India.
The Economist [London]. Weekly. 1994 to present.
The Europa World Year Book. Yearly. 1994.
Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Reports. Daily. April 1994 to present.
The Herald [Karachi]. Monthly. January to May 1994.
India Today [Delhi]. Weekly. 1993 to present.
Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. Monthly. 1994.
On-line search of media sources.