R Dutta choudhury
GUWAHATI, Nov 18 – The Central Government is keeping a close watch on the situation in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) area, while, the Assam Government has made it clear that anyone found to be involved in unlawful activities would be dealt with strongly irrespective of his or her political affiliations.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that the MHA has given a series of advisories to the State Government to bring the situation under control. The MHA has also assured that all possible help would be extended to the State to bring the situation under control.
Sources said that the MHA has stressed the need for improving intelligence gathering so that the sporadic incidents of violence can be checked, while, the State Government has been asked to launch an all out drive to seize illegal weapons and take action against anyone found to be in possession of it. Sources said that some “hardliners” are creating problems at a time when the situation in the BTAD area was improving and referred to the arrest of Mono Kumar Brahma, an executive member of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in this regard.
MHA sources said that the Army has been kept in high alert to move into any violence affected area within a very short notice and Army personnel have already been pressed into action in Kokrajhar district following imposition of curfew.
On the process of rehabilitation of the affected people, MHA sources said that it is primarily the job of the State Government and the Centre would provide financial and other assistance whenever required. “The State Government will have to rehabilitate the displaced people and the Centre will provide funds when the State seeks it,” sources added.
Meanwhile, State Government spokesman and Power and Industries Minister Pradyut Bordoloi said that the police and security forces have been directed to launch all out offensive to seize illegal weapons and to take action against anyone found to be in possession of the same. He said that seizure of illegal weapons is a must to restore peace in the BTAD area and hoped that the arrest of an executive member of the BTC would not affect the Congress-BPF alliance.
Bordoloi, who visited Kokrajhar after the outbreak of fresh violence, admitted that the social composition in the BTAD area is still very fragile and trust deficit following the clashes in July this year is still a major problem. He said that a few of the recent incidents can also be attributed to local economic issues as some of the displaced people had gone back for harvesting and there are elements who are against such a move.