With violence spreading in Assam, Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh on Tuesday asked the State government to take strict action against rioters and anti-socials. He called up Chief Secretary N.K. Das and Director General of Police J.N. Chaudhury and asked them to ensure that peace prevailed in the disturbed areas. Any attempt to fan social unrest must be nipped in the bud, said Mr. Singh.
Even as situation remained tense in four Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) following two subsequent general strikes, sporadic incidents of violence and arson were reported from Tezpur, Nagaon, Morigaon and Sibsagar.
Government sources said the Centre had asked the Tarun Gogoi government to step up vigil and organise flag marches.
The Centre was worried over some organisations trying to create social tension by calling bandhs and advocated preventive arrests of leaders of such outfits.
One reason why tension still persists in the violence-hit areas is the Bodoland Territorial Council’s demand that no inmate from the relief camps in the four Bodoland Territorial Area Districts be rehabilitated without getting his/her credentials ascertained.
This stance affects relief and rehabilitation efforts, besides deepening the rift between Bodos and Muslims.
On Monday, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the ethnic violence defamed the northeastern State at the global level. “Whosoever is involved in the violence will be punished,” he said when asked about the arrest of Bodo MLA Pradeep Brahma.
A 10-member delegation of Bodoland People’s Front leaders, led by its chief Hagrama Mohilary, met Mr. Shinde and lodged protests over the arrest. BPF leader Kampa Borgoyari claimed that there was no evidence of the involvement of Mr. Brahma in the violence.
Notably, the BPF is part of the Congress government in Assam.