Assam bishop appeals for peace

The prelate has constituted a relief team and peace mission committee and is continuously monitoring the situation, said a press statement from the diocese.

UCAN News :  Posted on July 27, 2012, 7:53 AM

(Photo Courtesy: The Hindu)

Bongaigaon:

Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil of Bongaigaon has appealed for peace in the violence-hit districts of Assam as the toll in the ethnic clashes rose up to 44 on Thursday.

All four affected districts that form the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts come under the diocesan jurisdiction.

The bishop told ucanindia.in that he and his priests were at a retreat in Kurseong in neighboring West Bengal state when the violence began. They cut short the program and rushed back to the diocese to help people in distress.

The prelate has constituted a relief team and peace mission committee and is continuously monitoring the situation, said a press statement from the diocese.

Indefinite curfew and shoot-at-sight orders have been imposed in the worst-hit Kokrajhar district. Chirag and Dhubri districts have been placed under night curfew.

Schools, institutions, health centers and church premises are serving as relief camps to those affected by the violence, the press release said.

The prelate has appealed to Caritas India, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Northeast Community Health Association (NECHA) and other non-government organisation to provide food, clothing, shelter and health facilities.

Nearly 200,000 people rendered homeless have sought refuge in over 100 relief camps.

Expressing concern over the escalating violence, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India said that it is exploring the possibilities of working together with the State administration and other like-minded NGOs in extending help in restoring peace and normalcy.

Thirteen columns of the Army were deployed in the three districts where they staged flag marches accompanied by a magistrate.

Defence spokesman Colonel S. Phogat said the Army units had identified a number of sensitive and hyper-sensitive areas in the four districts for better patrolling.

Train services Thursday resumed after two days of complete disruption. Three special trains will ply to ferry stranded passengers.

Tensions boiled over on July 20 when tribal people accused Muslims of killing four indigenous Bodo youths. This triggered a series of clashes in which both groups have been torching houses in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to visit the strife-torn areas on Saturday.

Meanwhile, state Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi slammed the media for its reports on the violence and insisted that the situation was “improving”.

Source: press statement

Assam Clashes , Bodos , Muslims , Ethnic Clashes , Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil , Bongaigaon Diocese
Bongaigaon Village School

Bongaigaon Village School (Photo credit: cybertoast)

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Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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1 Comment

  1. Luke Mendes said,

    July 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Ethnic meaning Bodo who are indigenous against the infiltrators Bangladeshis – Did i get that right? But the relief camps are filled with Bodo tribes.

    Like


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