Since the beginning of the year we’ve been keeping track of ghastly acts of (non-Muslim) terrorism from around the world which the media have largely played down or completely ignored. The latest entry is from India’s restive Northeast. From BBC News, Jan. 7:
Suspected separatist rebels have carried out more attacks on Hindi-speaking migrants in a third day of violence in India’s Assam state.
In one incident, gunmen shot workers at a brick factory, killing seven. A trader was killed in a separate attack.
More than 60 people have been killed in the state’s worst violence in a decade.
The authorities are blaming the attacks on rebels of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), who are fighting for an independent homeland.
An indefinite curfew has been imposed in parts of the state and Indian troops have begun searching Assam’s forests for rebel camps.
“We are going all out against the ULFA,” Tarun Gogoi, Assam’s chief minister, told Reuters news agency.
“Massive combing operations have started and additional troops are being rushed to the affected areas.”
‘Act of cowardice’
In the latest attack, hooded gunmen killed at least seven Hindi-speaking labourers at a brick kiln in the northern Sivasagar district.
A Hindi-speaking trader was also killed in a separate attack, the BBC’s Subir Bhaumik reports from Dibrugarh in northern Assam, and early on Sunday morning a railway bridge was bombed just after a train had passed over it, but no-one was injured.
On Friday and Saturday, rebels attacked six colonies of Hindi-speaking labourers in the northern districts of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia, killing 48 settlers.
Witnesses described groups of 10 to 15 masked and heavily armed men firing indiscriminately.
Another eight people, some of them police, died when a government vehicle hit a landmine late on Saturday in the central district of Karbi Anglong.
On Saturday Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the killings as an “act of cowardice and inhumanity”.
Our correspondent says that since talks between the ULFA and the government collapsed in September, the rebels have targeted Hindi-speaking migrants, mostly from the northern state of Bihar, with bomb and grenade attacks.
The rebels are seeking a separate homeland for the Assamese people and demanding the departure of the non-indigenous population, particularly Hindi speakers.
They have been fighting Delhi’s rule in the tea and oil-rich state for the past 27 years. At least 10,000 people have died in the violence.
See our October 2004 special report, “India: ‘Ultra’ Terror Explodes in Northeast”
See our September 2004 special report, “US-India Terror Summit: Who is the Enemy?”