Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mayhem at Gauhati – my heart goes out to my adivasi brethren of Assam

Being a tribal myself and an adivasi at that, my heart goes out to my marginalized brethren of Assam for the inhuman treatment meted out to them by the Brahmaputran Barbarians of Guwahati. The barbaric atrocities that were committed on adivasi women and children will continue to haunt my imagination for quite sometime.
It is high time the governments at the centre and the state wake up to the graveness of the problem and take initiative to grant the justified demand of the adivasis to be recognized as Scheduled Tribes.
Hopefully, the blood shed and the tremendous humiliation faced by hundreds of adivasis on the streets of Gauhati does not go wasted.

While I strongly condemn the atrocities of the locals on the Adivasis, I must emphasize that the organizers of the rally should have been more circumspect in controlling their flock.
The administration is also to be blamed for the whole episode. The police in particular, was ruthlessly aligned with the locals in beating up the adivasis. This syndrome of partisan policing is now becoming generic. In recent times, we witnessed it in Gujrat, we saw it Nandigram, and now Gauhati!

No rallies should be violent. Especially, in mass demonstrations that comprise of women and children there is no room for error. Any kind of violence in a mass rally will have horrific consequences. Hopefully, the fledgeling leaders of the rally would have realized their folly by now and I hope that they would be more judicious when they organize a rally next time around.

Here’s a brief guideline for organizing mass rallies:

1. The organizers of a mass rally must acquire the necessary permission from the authorities. Seek police protection if required.
2. The organizers should have a command structure in place. The command structure may have several layers. The smallest unit should comprise of around 20 people. Leaders should be appointed for each layer with complete responsibility for their flock.
3. The plan should be properly communicated to the people going for the rally. Pamphlets and posters can be used extensively to educate the people about the cause. Detailed plans about the means of transport, the routes to be taken, the place of assembly, the speakers for the occasion, and the manner of demonstration should be known to the leaders at the lowest level.
4. If the nature of demonstration demands carrying traditional weapons like daggers, bows and arrows to symbolize the identity of the people, the organizers should ensure that such weapons are dummies only. For example, blunt wooden swords and ordinary sticks may be used to symbolize swords and arrows instead of real swords and arrows.
5. Rally organisers should ensure peaceful demonstrations at any cost. The leaders through out the hierarchy should have a Gandhian sense of determination in this regard. They must realize that the safety of the rally goers and other innocent people in general depends on their actions.
6. Remember, mass rallies comprising of women and children are not the occasions for violent demonstrations.
See photos at:
Also read the comments and an eye witness account at:
Please sign an online petition initiated by R N Marandi to condemn the atrocities at:
Please excuse language error in the petition, if any.


GEL (GuwahatiEimiLomgol) said...

Dear Monoj,

I share the same sentiments. Please read my reactions on http://guwahatieimi.blogspot.com/

Mangneo Lhungdim, Guwahati

gence said...

We welcome your comments and letter to the Home Minister. We too have same feelings on the inhuman incident and put forward our comments.


A shameless black day in the History of Assam. The Adivasis consisting almost 40% of the total population of Assam, has been selflessly contributing to the economy and the beauty of Assam. People of Assam feel proud to say that Assam is a land of Wild Life Sanctuaries and Tea Gardens. But 24th November incident has put us to shame in the History of Assam’s Politics.

The Adivasi people who has contributed so much to Assam and of what the so called people of Assam are proud of, has been brutally tortured on the streets of Guwahati the capital city of Assam. Is it how we give respect to the people who has contributed so much to Assam?

It all began with a rally by All Adivasi Students Association of Assam (AASAA) on protest against the demand for Scheduled Tribes (ST) not being fulfilled since 1958. In 1958 with the help of Adivasi Council, Assam under the Leadership of Late Mr. Francis Hans and Late Mr. Sanga, the demand for ST status to the Adivasis has started. More than 5000 Adivasi from almost all the nock and corner of Assam has participated in this rally including women and children.

Later we all know what had happened. The Photos in the Local and National New Papers and the Video Footage in the Local and National News Channel are the raw evidence of the fact. We don’t know what or who triggered this unfortunate incident. But it is clear from the Video Footage shown by the News Channels that the innocent Adivasi people were tortured brutally on the streets of capital city Guwahati. Not only that even the women and children were not spared.


The incident clearly proves the violation of Human Rights. The people living in the city like Guwahati are so inhuman that they start behaving like animals.

• The women and children were bitten mercilessly.
• An injured woman was dragged like goats and pigs so as to be slaughtered.
• A young Adivasi woman was stripped and assaulted on the streets of Guwahati.
• Not only that an injured Adivasi women was even raped by three people in the Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMC).

How could the people of Guwahati see such brutality? Where was the Administration at that moment? No where in this civil society Human Beings are treated in such a way. People like them don’t deserve to live in this Civil Society.
Today the people of Guwahati have put us to shame. The whole world is looking at us. If such brutal incident could happen in the city like Guwahati then God knows what will be the Law and Order situation at the small towns.


The incident is also a violation of Fundamental Rights by the Constitution of India. The Adivasi people were stopped from exercising their Fundamental Rights.

1) Right to Freedom of Expression: They were stopped to express their feelings against the ruling Govt. It is the Right of the people to take out a rally and express their grievances against the Govt.

2) Right against Exploitation: Adivasi people were exploited since several years. The Tarun Gogoi led Govt. once addressing a meeting of Adivasis had promised to give ST status to the Adivasis within 15 days, but it is very unfortunate for the Adivasis that those 15 days have not arrived yet.


The Administration, the Law and Order situation at Guwahati has failed to prove its efficiency. The Administration could have stopped this unfortunate incident from happening. There is no doubt that this is a wilful negligence of the Govt. as well as the Administration.

It is very sad to know that the Administration along with the Govt. is trying to hide the truth. Even after torturing and killing the innocent Adivasi people their thirst for blood has not been fulfilled.

• The injured who were admitted in the GMC hospital were ill treated by the police and the hospital Administration.
• A brutal and inhuman case of raping an injured Adivasi girl at the hospital has come forward.
• Some cases of hiding the dead bodies have come forward.
• It is also found from the unofficial sources that more than 40 Adivasis are missing/dead. It is pity for us to see many dead bodies lying in the streets of Guwahati but the Govt. of Assam has declared only two dead and over 200 critically injured.


We whole heartedly welcome the emotional and moral support of the Ex Chief Minister of Jharkhand Mr. Babulal Marandi; Ex Central Minister of Coal Mr. Shibu Soren and Ex Chief Minister of Jharkhand Mr. Arjun Munda. And also appreciate the initiative taken by them to help the injured at the hospital and render Political support to the Adivasis at this adverse time.

We also welcome the initiatives of the different States like Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Chatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh to come forward and condemn this incident of brutal torture and mass killing of the innocent people who were on a peaceful rally exercising their Fundamental Rights.


We are also thankful to the agencies like Action Aid, CASA, DBI, World Vision and some Church based organisations for helping the injured people at GMC Hospital, Guwahati and also appeal to all other Human Right Agencies to come forward and condemn this brutal incident and make it an International Issue.

Anonymous said...

Do some introspection. Adivasis, think that they being backward have the right to indulge in violence while others do not. Well...its a matter of argument maybe. But when you live by the sword sometimes you may get killed by the sword. What adivasis did first brought repercussion on them. If they did not indulge in violence, this thing would not have happened. What would have happened if some non-tribals did the same thing in a tribal area? WHY DON'T YOU CONDEMN UNEQUIVOCALLY WHAT YOUR BROTHERS DID FIRST BEFORE YOU CONDEMN OTHERS? When you discuss the effect, why do you avoid the cause?