Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday called for a “healing touch” to the victims of violence, even as he announced compensation for them and Rs. 300 crore in Central assistance to Assam during a whirlwind tour of Kokrajhar district.
He said an impartial inquiry would be conducted into the causes of the violence, noting that “if the conflict has been instigated, the guilty must be punished.”
During the visit, delayed by two hours as the helicopter that flew him to Kokrajhar returned to Guwahati after developing a snag, Dr. Singh went to two relief camps — one at Commerce College where Bodos along with some non-Bodos are lodged and the other at Bodgaon High School where a large number of Muslims are staying.
There, he said: “The need of the hour is to provide relief to the people; gilay and shikway [grudge and complaints] could be addressed in a while.” Thereafter, Dr. Singh, also a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, interacted with community and social leaders at the Circuit House.
Addressing journalists, he said: “The Centre will work closely with the State to provide relief to the people.”
He announced an immediate special Central assistance of Rs.100 crore to the State for relief and rehabilitation; Rs. 100 crore in special plan assistance for development programmes in the affected areas; and Rs. 100 crore in extra funds under the Indira Awas Yojana.
This apart, he announced an assistance of Rs. 2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to the kin of the deceased; Rs. 50,000 to the seriously injured; Rs. 30,000 to those whose houses were gutted; and Rs.20,000 to those whose houses were partially damaged.