New Delhi, Aug.15 (ANI): Expressing sympathy with the families of victims affected by the recent violence in Assam, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, said on Wednesday that his government would make every effort to understand the reasons behind the violence.
Addressing the nation on the occasion of the nation’s 65th Independence Day, Dr. Singh said his government would work had with state governments to ensure that such incidents were not repeated in any part of the country in the future.
“The incidents of violence which occurred in Assam recently are very unfortunate. I know that these incidents have resulted in the disruption of the lives of a large number of people. We fully sympathize with those families which have been affected by the violence,” Dr. Singh said.
He added: “We are doing everything possible to provide relief to them. I also promise to you that our Government will make every effort to understand the reasons behind the violence and work hard with the state governments to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in any part of the country.”
In July this year, Assam experienced outbreaks of ethnic violence, this time between indigenous Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslims.
As on August 8, 77 people have died and over 400,000 people have been displaced from almost 400 villages, and are taking shelter in 270 relief camps. Eleven people are reported to be missing.
Last month, state Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi blamed the central government for “delay in army deployment to riot-hit areas”.
Prime Minister Singh visited relief camps in Kokrajhar on July 28 and described the violence as a blot on the face of India.
India’s then Home Minister P. Chidambaram also visited the state on July 30 to review the security situation, relief and rehabilitation measures.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi also visited the state earlier this week and called for improvement in security measures to prevent such incidents from recurring.
The violence follows pre-existing ethnic tensions between the indigenous Bodo community and Muslims in Assam, due in part to rising ethnic nationalism,most notably Bodo nationalism and diaspora politics.
While Muslims claim they are the descendants of East Bengali Muslims brought to Assam during the British Raj, local communities counter that by saying that the increasing Muslim population consists of refugees from the erstwhile East Pakistan prior to the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War and subsequent migrants from Bangladesh who are blamed illegal by the Bodos. (ANI)