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BJP `communalising` Assam violence: Digvijay Singh

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh has defended Assam government over its handling of the ethnic violence in the state.



New Delhi: Defending Assam government over its handling of the ethnic violence in the state, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of attempting to communalise the issue.

"The BJP has been trying to communalise the situation in Assam from the very beginning, by raising the issue of illegal migrants. In fact, there are Muslim illegal migrants, and there are Hindu illegal migrants also," he said.

"Unfortunately, the BJP only talks of Muslim illegal migrants, and the perception that has come to people`s minds in the country is, that there are only Muslim illegal migrants," he added.

He further said that Assam is a `sensitive` state, and that the state government had initially tried to quell the rioting with just the local administration`s help.

"(Assam) is a very sensitive state. A single word out of place triggers a reaction. It is important to note that this is not the first incident of violence between Bodos and Muslims, but the fourth one. Every state government first ensures that the local administration is used to quell any such disturbance. When they see that the local authorities are ineffective, paramilitary forces and the Army are called in," he added.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, however, said the situation is improving in violence-hit areas of the state, and expressed the hope that everything will be normal in the next two to three days.

"The situation is improving and I hope in the next two-three days the situation will be normal. And I have reviewed the whole situation. I met my administration, my police force, CRPF and the army also," Gogoi said.

Gogoi also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 6 lakh each to the next of the kin of those killed in the violence.

Indefinite curfew and shoot-at-site orders are in force in Kokrajhar district, while night curfew is on in Chirang and Dhubri districts. Nearly two lakh people have taken shelter in 150 relief camps. Over 44 people have been killed in the violence so far.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, will visit ethnic violence-hit Kokrajhar District on Saturday to take stock of the volatile situation.

According to police officials, the latest wave of violence was sparked last week when unidentified men killed four youth in the state`s Bodo tribe-dominated Kokrajhar District near the borders of Bangladesh and Bhutan.

In retaliation, armed Bodos attacked Muslims, suspecting them to be behind the killings.

ANI

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