Violence subsides, politicking begins

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Guwahati, Oct 7 (UNI) Violence in riot-torn north Assam has subsided with no reports of fresh incidents coming in from any part.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told mediapersons here today that there were no violence since yesterday and strict vigil had been maintained in every part of the state.

He also assured that there would be no leniency in punishing the criminals.

The ground reports from Darrang and Udalguri district have meanwhile suggested that angry villagers held nerves since yesterday but tension had been evident as both sides are preparing themselves for self defence.

According to DGP R N Mathur, 47 people lost their lives in this round of communal violence between immigrant Muslim settlers as well as indigenous people of the state.

A visit to Udalguri, Bhakatpara, Dalgaon and Dhulla clearly suggested that there exist deep mistrust in the society and it would take substantial time for healing as close to 1,50,000 people are in relief camps.

''I have been in constant touch with the respective district administrations and security forces and have asked them not to be complacent and lenient, and deal with an iron hand against those forces trying to engineer rift among the communities and against those spreading rumours to fuel violence. I have also asked them to take preventive measures so that violence does not spread to new areas,'' said Mr Gogoi.

Authorities have launched a campaign to blame the Bodo militants of the NDFB for the carnage. The NDFB had denied that officially and DGP has also admitted that no direct involvement was found in it.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in Assam and the AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary has said the Centre has different yardsticks when it comes to evaluating communal violence in different states.

''The Home Ministry which sent a couple of 'strong' directives to Orissa and Karnataka has spared Congress-ruled Assam of any 'strict' missive despite 47 people being killed in the communal violence, he added.

Though the Home Ministry has sent some communication to the state authorities besides despatching 1400 paramilitary personnel there, the message was a milder version of the missives that were sent to Orissa and Karnataka while virtually indicting them for the violence last month.

Assam government is mulling to send an all-party delegation to the violence-torn area.


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