The winter session of the Assam assembly started on a stormy note on Monday over the issue of availability of illegal weapons in the communally sensitive Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District Council areas that was rocked by a spell of riots involving Bodo tribe and Muslim communities during July this year that left over 100 dead and rendered about 4 lakh homeless.
As soon as the House sat for the winter session on Monday morning opposition MLAs from All India United Democratic Front were on their feet demanding discussions on the steps taken by the state government, if any, to seize illegal weapons available in the BTC area setting aside all other scheduled proceedings of the day.
The AIUDF MLAs created din in the House as Speaker Pranab Kumar Gogoi declined to accept their demand. The speaker then adjourned the House for ten minutes even before the question hour could be started. Infuriated AIUDF MLAs then walked out of the House boycotting the entire proceedings for the day.
The AIUDF MLAs, while coming out of the House, pointed out that availability of the illegal sophisticated weapons in the BTC area had posed a serious threat to the common people as the area had been a witness to about eight spells of communal riot since 2003.
"Even the Governor of Assam J B Patnaik has taken serious note of the rampant use of illegal sophisticated weapons during July communal violence in the BTC and instructed the police and the state administration to do everything possible to seize all the illegal weapons available in the area with anybody. But the state government seems hardy interested in the matter and hence has not allowed a discussion in the House over the important issue as demanded by us. We have been forced to walk out of the House to register our protest," an AIUDF legislator said.