'Time to heal, not blame'

Jul 29, 2012, 08:23 IST | Agencies

Manmohan Singh announces Rs 300 crore in aid and relief for Assam riot victims; claimed 45 lives, left 2.5 lakh people homeless

Sharing the “pain” of Assam riot victims, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for an immediate end to the violence and promised “a proper inquiry” into the clashes that have claimed 45 lives and left lakhs homeless. Singh, who visited the victims of the clashes between Bodos and Muslims at a relief camp in Kokrajhar, appealed to the people of the state to foster peace.

“The ethnic conflict which has occurred is unacceptable and must come to a stop,” he said.

A house burns at Kachugaon village in Kokrajhar district, Guwahati, during violent clashes. pic afp

“This is a time for healing...this is no time for recriminations. We need to first help the people to rehabilitate and bring peace,” he said.

Announcing Rs 300 crore in aid and relief for the riot victims and the violence-hit areas, he said, “We must address causes of the conflict. We will work closely with the state government to provide sense of security to all the affected areas, ensuring that they all go back to their houses in the knowledge that their lives and livelihood are secure.”

Singh also announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to the kin of those people who had lost their lives in the violence. The injured persons will also be paid Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 depending on the nature of their injury.

Kokrajhar and Chirang, which form the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) along with Baksa and Udalguri districts, were severely hit in the past week after clashes broke out on July 19 between the dominant Bodos and the Bengali-speaking Muslim settlers. The violence soon spread to contiguous Dhubri and Baksa districts.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) led by its chief Badaruddin Ajmal met the Prime Minister at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport and asked him to step up efforts for the safety and security in the district. Ajmal submitted a memorandum, urging him to dissolve the Bodoland Territorial Council that runs the administration in four districts on grounds of total breakdown of law and order in two districts.

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