Assam CM visits violence-hit Goalpara, reviews situation
Guwahati, Feb 19 : A week after violence rocked Assam's Goalpara district, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Tuesday visited the area and reviewed the law and order situation as well as relief measures taken by the administration.
He asked local officials to provide fixed security pickets at the relief camps in the district where the violence-affected people are taking shelter.
The areas under the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council (RHAC) in Goalpara and parts of Kamrup district witnessed severe violence during the panchayat polls Feb 12, leaving 21 people dead - 14 in police firing and seven others in group clashes.
The violence also rendered homeless close to 17,000 people, who are staying in 20 relief camps set up by the district administration.
Gogoi visited some of the violence-affected areas in the district and took stock of the situation. He also visited three relief camps and assured the people of necessary protection so that the anti-social elements cannot take advantage of the situation and attack them again.
He also instructed the district administration to involve the village defence personnel (VDPs) in augmenting security measures and asked the state home secretary to take proper measures to instill a sense of security among the affected people.
Gogoi also asked the administration to take all possible confidence building measures to remove the misunderstandings sown by certain anti-national forces among the communities and suggested the setting up of peace committees comprising people from different communities.
According to the government records, about 16,423 people from 2,308 families have taken shelter in 20 relief camps. A total of 600 houses were gutted in Matia and in Balijana revenue circles of the district during the violence.
The disturbances broke out as the state government tried to hold panchayat polls in areas under the RHAC areas despite opposition from local Rabha people. They had been demanding the government hold election to the RHAC before the panchayat polls.