New Delhi: Asserting that last week's violence in Assam was the act of "cadres of certain group", Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Sunday appealed to the people to maintain calm.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde. File pic
"During the past few days, there have been wanton acts of depredation leading to the deaths of 32 people, mainly women and children. Of these 32, 31 belonged to the minority community," the home minister said in an official statement.
"My appeal to all is to maintain calm and peace as the forces on the ground will definitely control the situation. The public leaders of both Bodo and the minority community must see to it that things do not deteriorate," Shinde said.
Without naming NDFB(S), the Bodo militant group believed to be responsible for the violence, the home minister said: "These innocent lives were lost at the hands of cadres of certain group."
"The objective of this group seems to be aimed at starting a full-fledged communal conflagration. It is noteworthy these acts started only after the group started steadily losing its cadres either by surrender or being eliminated during operations when they opened fire on (security) forces," the minister said.
He also said the central government "is determined to ensure the safety and security of innocent human lives".
"The determination is all the more important since these incidents are targeted at the minorities. I strongly condemn the acts of this group which is targeting the women and children of minority community," Shinde said.
The home minister added his ministry has already deployed 43 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces and 10 more companies are being sent.
The defence ministry has also deployed 15 columns of the Army comprising approximately 1,500 soldiers.