Government suspects the hands of internal and external forces: Chief Minister

The Assam government has requested the Centre to direct the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over all 309 cases registered in connection with the ongoing violence in Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Chirang and Bongaigaon districts.

Armed miscreants gunned down three persons and injured two in a midnight attack in the Ranijuli area in Kokrajhar district and one body was recovered in Chirang district on Monday. Fresh violence prompted the Kokrajhar district administration to re-impose an indefinite curfew.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told journalists here on Tuesday that the CBI probe was sought as the government suspected the hand of internal and external forces. “External forces have all along been trying to create trouble in Assam although it is difficult to substantiate it,” he said. He did not elaborate.

Mr. Gogoi said he sought a CBI probe earlier too when the then Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram, visited the violence-hit districts on July 30. “However, he had some reservations,” said Mr. Gogoi.

He said the death toll in the violence had risen to 73. The government had issued instructions to confiscate all illegal arms, intensify patrolling and go for preventive arrests. In all, 170 persons had been arrested in the four violence-hit districts. He had authorised Chief Secretary N.K. Das to take executive decisions required to deal with the situation and come to the government only on matters involving policy decisions.

The Chief Minister said some forces were trying to sabotage the rehabilitation process by continuing the violence.

So far, 15 camps inmates, including eight children, had died. In all, there were 3,64,083 people in 245 relief camps and 1,16,581 inmates of 95 camps had returned to their homes.