Ethnic violence engulfs India

Aug 30, 2012

India’s northeast state of Assam is suffering through its worst communal violence in more than a decade.

Clashes broke out in July between indigenous Bodo tribes and Bengali-speaking Muslims. The conflict escalated this month. Eighty-five people have been killed so far. About 400,000 residents have been forced to flee their homes and are living in makeshift camps. This time, the violence is threatening to spill over to other states in the isolated region.

There are social, political and economic repercussions across India, from Calcutta, across to Mumbai and all the way down to Bangalore. And this time, there’s a social media catalyst for the violence: Twitter and Facebook postings, fanned by wild rumors and falsehoods.

To learn more about the conflict, and the Internet restrictions that were imposed as a result, Global Journalist spoke to Subir Bhaumik. He is the author of two books about the conflicts in the region, and was the BBC's former bureau chief for East and Northeast India.