KOKRAJHAR, July 25 – In a bid to restore normalcy, a high-level Central team including Shambhu Singh, Joint Secretary (North East) and Ajoy Chadda, Special Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India, arrived today at Kokrajhar and held a closed-door meeting with high-level officials of Kokrajhar district administration and security forces including Army at Kokrajhar circuit house.
Talking to mediapersons Shambhu Singh said that 44 companies of additional Central forces would be shortly deployed while today the Army was given the task of area domination. He also pointed out that the 4 companies of SSB were deployed along the railway tracks to restore normal movement of railway service from today. He also said the process is on to send back the inmates of relief camps to their residences in a phased manner ensuring full security.
At the same time he revealed that there was no shortage of forces and the whole area was brought under security cover while admitting that there was a little shortage of security deployment earlier.
Singh also said that there was no information of fresh infiltration of people from Bangladesh. However, he has not ruled out the possibility earlier on the basis of certain information of economic crisis in the neighbouring country.
Replying to a question, he said that it depended on the mind of the people to restore normalcy in the area as there were no security lapses now. He also said that till date 36 people had died and nearly 1,70,000 people were sheltered in relief camps in BTAD.
On the other hand, two dead bodies were recovered today in Kokrajhar and several houses are also burnt by the miscreants. The indefinite curfew and shoot-at-sight order promulgated in Kokrajhar district was also relaxed for four hours between 8 am to 12 noon today.
Meanwhile, a 17-member all-party delegation today visited some affected areas and relief camps of Kokrajhar district and the team appealed to both the communities to restore peace and brotherhood.
BJP leader Bijoy Goel also visited Kokrajhar today and appealed the Central Government to deal the situation sternly and seal the border in view of the possibility of infiltration in the interest of national integration.
On the other hand, the normal life of people has been totally disrupted due to the indefinite curfew. In view of the prevailing crisis of daily essential commodities, during the four-hour relaxation of curfew people rushed to local shops and markets to get food and other items amidst prevailing fear psychosis.
Our Bongaigaon Correspondent adds: Following flag march by Army and clamping of curfew for an indefinite period, the situation came under control to some extent in Chirang district the morning hours today. But the miscreants amidst the curfew torched some villages and attacked three persons in the district in the afternoon hours. Later the security forces handled the situation.
State Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain in a press meet held today at Circuit House here told the media that 13 columns of Army have been deployed in BTAD and they are doing flag march to bring the situation under control. He appealed to everybody to help in bringing peace in the region.
On BTC Chief Hagrama Mohilary’s statement that Bangladeshi elements were behind the clash, Rockybul Hussain said that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had already clarified in a press meet held in Guwahati that no such elements were involved in the clashes and it was a baseless allegation. The Minister appealed to his colleagues to restrain themselves from making such comments for the sake of maintaining peace.
On the other hand, Agriculture Minister Nilamoni Sen Deka assured that security and relief materials will be provided to the relief camps as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the Ministers instructed the authorities of the violence-hit districts to maintain registers of the relief camp inmates so that they could be sent back to their native places when normalcy returns. It is learnt that about 30 to 40 thousand people of more than 70 villages have been affected by the violence in Chirang district.