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PTI | Aug 09, 2012, 16:16PM IST : Guwahati: A CBI inquiry into the Assam violence has been initiated and the Army put on alert, the government told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday as the opposition alleged that the region was not safe because of vote bank politics by the ruling Congress.
Replying to a debate on the issue of violence in Assam that has so far claimed 74 lives, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the government was taking the issue seriously and has already initiated a CBI inquiry to ascertain the causes behind violent incidents.
“The government is taking this issue very seriously. A CBI team has gone there and an inquiry has started….I have instructed the Army to be alert,” he said.
As the opposition created an uproar expressing dissatisfaction over his reply, Shinde said, “I have instructed the Army to be on alert. What else do you want?”
He also listed the steps taken by the government to provide relief and rehabilitation, but the opposition dismissed what he said by creating uproar.
Earlier, leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley charged the government with adopting the policy of vote bank politics that led to the current violent incidents in the state and alleged that the region was “not safe in its hands” if such a policy continued.
Jaitley also urged the government to have a relook at “this vote-bank policy” and start identifying the real problem of illegal infiltration that was causing unrest in the area.
“If you adopt the original line of Gopinath Bordoloi (who wanted the cultural and linguistic identity of the Northeast) India will be safe in your hands. But if you adopt vote bank politics, I don’t think this region is safe in your hands,” he said.
Jaitley accused the Centre of adopting a “clerical” approach to the problem and urged the Home Minister to reject such an approach.
“Here was a government which not only discarded the original Assam line…” but encouraged illegal infiltration enmasse in search of votebank politics, he said.
Welcoming the CBI probe into the issue, Jaitley urged the government not to treat this as a “simple crime” and not “miss out” on the issues as to why such incidents have taken place.
He also feared that going by “the kind of situation that is existing in these areas, such incidents are likely to be repeated”.
“Is this is not a normal consequence of the unnatural change of the demography that has taken place in those areas?” he asked.
Reminding the Congress leadership of the policy adopted by its former leader in Assam Gopinath Bordoloi, who wanted the cultural and linguistic identity of the North East, particularly of Assam, to be maintained, the BJP leader charged the ruling party with adopting a policy of vote-bank politics by allowing illegal immigrants and not deporting them.
“The Congress leadership at the time of partition was fully conscious of the North East and rightly so that its identity has to be maintained…Unfortunately somewhere post- Independence the line that the Congress took before partition was altered by the subsequent people in the party.
“They realised that Assamese vote was going away from them and so they were in search for an alternative vote bank…It is the pursuit of that alternative votebank that is the reason for the problems today,” Jaitley said. [From Dainik Bhaskar].
PTI | GUWAHATI | 8 August 2012:: Four more bodies were recovered today in lower Assam, which witnessed fresh incidents of violence, taking the toll to 77, police said.
“Two bodies, that of a male and a female from the minority community, were recovered from Kokrajhar district, and one each from Baksa and Chirang districts,” Assam IGP (law and order) L R Bishnoi said. [Pic. given above is representational].
He said of the two bodies found from Kokrajhar, one was fished out from Champa river and another was recovered from Gossaigaon area.
“There were certain fresh incidents of violence but the police has taken timely action to prevent escalation,” Bishnoi said.
The rival Bodo and Minority communities had planned attacks but intelligence inputs had helped in prempting the violence. They had planned arson in several interior villages but were thwarted by security forces, the IGP claimed.
Curfew is on in all four strife-torn districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Dhubri, he said.
AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh is currently touring affected areas of Kokrajhar today.
The state government has directed the district administration to take stern action to ensure that there is no further outbreak of violence.
Fresh clashes between Bodos and minority immigrants had erupted on August 5 in the lower Assam districts after a relative calm of 10 days.
A CBI team is scheduled to arrive here tomorrow following chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s recommendation for a probe by the central agency, officials said.
A five-member team of Group of Ministers, constituted by the chief minister, visited refugee camps in Dhubri reviewed relief measures and directed the district administration to ensure health and hygiene. [From TOI].
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