Violent Memories

By

Sanjukta Sharma, Live Mint (28th Feb, 2015)

Assam’s Bangladeshi immigrants, about whom there is irrational paranoia among people of Assamese lineage, were no less brutalized during the Nellie massacre of 1983 than Bosnia’s Muslims or Rwanda’s Tutsis. It was an act of staggering violence; in scale much less than the Rwandan or Bosnian genocides, in intent, different from a genocide, but in the terrifying nature of killing—a group of locals hacking down more than 2,000 (the official estimate is around 1,800) Bangladeshi immigrant labourers with machetes—the Nellie massacre is a shocking transgression of human rights and values in contemporary Indian history.

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