Give us the list, the exact number, Chief Minister tells journalists

Stating that the situation in strife-torn Assam has definitely improved, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi expressed doubts here on Sunday over if anybody from Assam was still staying in north Bengal.

“I have doubts if anybody is staying in north Bengal… give us the list, the exact number,” Mr. Gogoi told journalists at the sidelines of a PanIIT Global alumni conference held in the city.

His comments gain significance as it runs counter to the statements made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She had said last month that the “storm of Assam is moving into West Bengal”, claiming that many people affected by the violence in the neighbouring State had taken shelter in north Bengal. She blamed the Assam Government as well as the Centre for mishandling the situation there.

Mr. Gogoi, however, said that there is no influx of people in north Bengal and all have returned.

“More than 4.5 lakh people are returning. If there are people in north Bengal why are they not returning,” he asked. “Today, I do not know if anybody is staying in north Bengal,” he said.

Addressing a gathering comprising the alumni of IITs earlier during the day, Mr. Gogoi said that education is the only way by which the country can solve its problems.

Referring to the situation in Assam, he said, “Why unrest is there? It is because there is deprivation.”

To uplift the marginalised and deprived sections of the society and to give them justice, right kind of education is needed. Mr. Gogoi also emphasised that technology and skilled human resources is required for harnessing the country’s natural resources.