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Gogoi urges Assam separatists to come to negotiation

Last Updated: Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 14:05

Guwahati: Urging the agitators who are demanding separate states in Assam to come to the discussion table, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said all communities in the state should live like a single family.

Hoisting the National Flag on the 67th Independence Day here, Gogoi hoped that an amicable solution to the issue would be found during the proposed tripartite talks with the Centre.

"We want to stay together. We are one family. We should stay as one family," Gogoi said.

He said that the Union Home Secretary has agreed to hold a tripartite meeting between the agitating groups and the central and state governments.

"I am happy that there will be a tripartite meeting. I invite all to come to the discussion and solve the problems through dialogue," he said.

The Chief Minister said every community had the right to enjoy the benefits of development.

"It is understood that there is a sense of neglect and apprehension amongst some communities and groups that the benefits of development have not reached them," Gogoi said promising that the government would do its best to ensure that no community remained deprived in the state.

Acknowledging that the UPA government`s decision to create Telangana has led to demands of separate states by communities like Bodos, Karbis, Dimasas and Koch-Rajbonshis, the Chief Minister said the movement has become violent at many places.

"While every community and indeed citizen has the right to agitate in a democratic and peaceful manner for settling grievances, violence and wanton destruction of public property cannot and should not be used as legitimate means for such purposes," he cautioned.

For the welfare of the Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts, the state government has allocated Rs 516.09 crore for 2013-14 fiscal, he said.

"In the meantime, we are persistently following up with the central government for enhancing the allocation of funds to the hill areas within the state. The construction of Assam Hill Medical College and Research Institute at Diphu is in progress," Gogoi said.

Regarding the Barak valley, where separate statehood demands surfaced in the last few days, he said the government had taken up a special Rs 1,000-crore development package for the region.

"Under this package, various development projects and programmes will be implemented in a time-bound manner. We are constantly monitoring the progress of the gauge conversion works from Lumding to Agartala and the NHAI East-West Corridor up to Silchar," he said.

While he was giving the address, a school kid and two police personnel, who were part of the parade contingent, fainted because of heat.


First Published: Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 14:05

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