Assam CM orders CBI probe into adivasi violence

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Guwahati, Dec 1: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today ordered a CBI enquiry into the adivasi violence in Guwahati on November 24 and conceded that some police lapses led to the deterioration of the situation, where one died and 250 were injured.

Talking to newsmen here, Mr Gogoi said the state government would pressurize the CBI to take up the investigation and complete it at the earliest.

He added that the judicial probe by a retired High Court judge could be scrapped in the event of the CBI enquiry, pointing out that the CBI had a better mechanism in place to book the real culprits.

The chief minister also admitted that there were lapses on part of the police which led to the clashes between the locals and adivasi protestors, which had since then resounded across the state.

''Lapses were definitely there or else the violence would not have taken place at all. The enquiry will find out the culprits,'' he added.

Smelling a conspiracy in the whole episode as peaceful protestors had suddenly turned violent on that day, Mr Gogoi said, ''There must be some conspiracy to malign the government's image and also create a rift in the society.'' He also criticised the Opposition AGP for trying to gain political mileage from the clashes.

Reiterating his appeal to all communities to maintain restrain and communal harmony, Mr Gogoi said, ''Just because a few miscreants created trouble, we cannot blame the entire adivasi community. The Assamese society had always accepted everyone in its fold and this age-old brotherhood will be maintained.'' He said maximum punishment would be meted out to those found guilty, including the three persons arrested for stripping an adivasi girl that day.

The Chief Minister also announced that the state government would bear all education expenses of the girl, besides compensation of Rs one lakh and a government job. He said, ''Money can not compensate for her ordeal but we are trying our best to give some sort of relief.'' On the list of missing people of November 24 incident submitted to the government by the adivasi leaders, he said the government was in the process of verifying all the names.

Announcing special packages for the disgruntled communities demanding ST status, Mr Gogoi said an expert body comprising of representatives of the six communities would soon be formed, with the state government providing all financial and logistical support, to prepare a more pressing case for grant of their demand.

The six communities tea tribes, Koch-Rajbonshi, Chutia, Ahom, Moran and Mottock -- have been demanding ST status, with the Centre yet to give the nod despite the state government's strong recommendation.

Mr Gogoi also announced a special development package for the six communities for their economic and educational uplift, with the Union as well as state government pooling in the resources.

Besides, another package for development of most backward areas, in which benefit to percolate to all communities residing in those areas, was announced.

UNI

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