Assam lashes out at media for distorting'' adivasi violence

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Guwahati, Nov 27 (UNI) The Assam government today lashed out at a section of media, including vernacular and national electronic, in the state for alleged distortion of facts during the adivasi violence in Guwahati on Saturday.

News channels NDTV and CNN-IBN were 'blacked out' in Guwahati and the state government also criticised a scetion of the media for wrongly projecting the clashes between locals and adivasis as attack on adivasis.

State Cabinet Minister and spokesperson Himanta Biswa Sharma said the manner in which the incidents were reported, particularly the stripping of an adivasi woman, gave a false impression about the state.

He said, ''From the news items, one would get the impression that Assam is anti-adivasi and anti-woman. But we want to make it clear that it is totally wrong.'' He underscored the fact that all sections of the state had always supported the adivasis' demand for ST status and the incident with the woman was condemned by everybody.

Dr Sharma said such distortion of facts and attempts at projecting that adivasis and the rest of Assam were at loggerheads could flare up tension. '' The media should act in a more restrained manner,'' he observed. He also criticised media reports which claimed that Guwahati Medical College and Hospital doctors and staff had 'hidden' victims' bodies of Saturday's clashes to substantiate the government's casualty figure of one person.

The minister said the government had checked up the missing people as published in newspapers and found them registered either in police station or hospital.

'' If we get any missing query, we will investigate. But the dead figure stands at one,'' he added.

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