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Friday, 27 July 2012

Assam Violence: Chief Minister Blames Centre For Army's Delayed Arrival

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Blames Centre
GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today pointed fingers to the central government for sending the army late to the violence-hit districts of KokrajharChirang and Dhubri, where communal conflict has claimed 45 lives and left 2.9 lakh people homeless.

"We had requisitioned the army on the very first day. But it took four-five days for the forces to reach the state," Gogoi said.

He clarified that there had not been any communication gap between the central and state governments.

He said he had informed the home ministry and the army the very first day violence broke out between the Bodos and Bengali speaking Muslims. "But it takes time as the forces come from various states," Gogoi said.

Gogoi also said his government did not get any intelligence report from the Union Home Ministry before the flare-up. 

Normalcy is slowly returning in Assam's violence-hit Bodo areas, with no reports of any fresh incidents of violence being reported from anywhere in the affected areas since Thursday, the government said.

Gogoi said: "There are no reports of any fresh incidents except for the two incidents in Baksa district Thursday. The situation is coming back to normal".

Indefinite curfew, clamped in Kokrajhar and Chirang following the clashes, was also relaxed but night curfew -- from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- will continue in both the districts, district administration sources said. 

The violence has displaced about 3.92 lakh people in the three districts, the chief minister said.

The administration now has the major task of rehabilitating the affected people, with many of the displaced wary of returning home.

As many as 67 companies of central paramilitary forces had been deployed in the affected areas. Some forces had also been deployed in Dhubri.

Apart from this, close to 4,000 soldiers were also deployed. The army had Wednesday staged a flag march in the violence-affected and other sensitive areas.

Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri are contiguous landscape. While Dhubri shares the border with Bangladesh in the south, Kokrajhar and Chirang border Bhutan.

According to official sources, the violence started July 19 after gunmen attacked two student leaders in Magurbari. Following this, four former Bodo militants were shot dead.

Kokrajhar and Chirang, which form the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) along with Baksa and Udalguri districts, were hit severely in the past one week after clashes broke out between the dominant Bodos and the Bengali-speaking Muslim settlers since July 19

Edited By Cen Fox Post Team

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