Increasing sectarian tensions in India’s northeastern Assam state erupted in full-blown violence today, when tribal rebels attacked Muslims in several areas around the province, killing 33.
Indian troops have entered the area and are imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew in portions of the state affected by violence. The same tensions have erupted in violence off and on for years, and the troops seem to be hoping to stop the situation before it ends up with hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians.
That’s what happened in 2012, when the tribes and Muslims traded several attacks in the area, and were both threatening dramatic escalation.
Resentment against their Muslim minority is growing in some parts of India, with the upcoming election threatening to push a harsh Hindu nationalist faction in power and putting Indian Muslims at even more risk nationwide.
The Bodo tribal factions have complained that the Muslims include many illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, and have been pushing the government to restrict Muslims from moving into their “ancestral lands.”