Riot fears still lurk: Gogoi

Guwahati, Jan. 17: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today warned that a repeat of the BTAD riots was possible as the "internal and external forces" responsible for the violence in the state's Bodo belt last year were still active.

"A conspiracy was hatched by some forces to defame and dislodge my government as well as the UPA government at the Centre. The forces, both from inside the state and outside the state or country, even used social media to spread the message of the BTAD riots as fast as possible. Such developments resulted in fleeing of thousands of Assamese people from the southern states out of fear of repercussions," Gogoi said while interacting with reporters at Rajiv Bhawan, the state Congress headquarters here.

Refraining from identifying the "forces", the chief minister said the government was aware that those behind the riots were still active and could cause similar mayhem in future. He said his government would not take any chances and was taking all possible measures to foil their machinations.

"Investigation is on to identify the forces behind the BTAD violence. The government is also trying to identify the exact source of hate messages sent during the riots," he said.

Gogoi expressed satisfaction over fast rehabilitation of riot victims and said not a single person would be left in relief camps "in a month or so". He had credited the BTC and the Congress with quick rehabilitation of the riot-affected people in BTAD during a visit yesterday to Kokrajhar district, where he held a meeting with council leaders to review the status of rehabilitation.

He had also reiterated that his government would come up with schemes for those who were orphaned or widowed in the riots.

Gogoi's statement assumes significance in the light of the fact that the All India United Democratic Front had last month accused him of misleading the people of Assam as well as the rest of India by saying that peace had returned to BTAD.

The party's chief, Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, said his party would move Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to send an all-party parliamentary delegation to BTAD to expose the chief minister's "hollow" claim.

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