NEW DELHI, Aug 27 � Even as Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde asserted that violence in BTAD areas has defamed Assam, an upset Bodo Peoples Front (BPF) on Monday protested the arrest of its MLA Pradip Brahma, alleging that total confusion prevails in BTAD areas owing to lack of coordination between the Council and local officials.
A five-member delegation of BPF led by its chairman Hagrama Mohilary and including State Minister, Chandan Brahma, Lok Sabha MP, S.K.Bwiswmutiary and Rajya Sabha MP, Biswajeet Daimary among others called on Shinde today. The meeting with the Home Minister was followed by another meeting with top Home Ministry and IB officials.
Reacting to the killings in BTAD areas, the Union Home Minister told newsmen that BTC administration has been instructed to form coordination committees locally among the Hindus and Muslims.
It is the responsibility of the government to protect the lives and property of Hindus and Muslims. He said the Bodo leadership has been asked to ensure that peace is restored in the BTAD areas.
On the arrest of the BPF MLA, the Union Home Minister said that who-so-ever is guilty would not be spared.
The visit came on a day, when Home Secretary, RK Singh chaired a high-level review meeting to take stock of the prevailing situation in BTAD areas. The meeting held at North Block this afternoon, was attended by State Commissioner Home and DGP, JN Choudhury. Principal Secretary Home Sri Shailesh also attended it.
Sources said that the meeting reviewed the deployment of security forces in the trouble-torn BTAD areas. The Centre has decided to deploy an additional 80 companies of Central Para-Military Force.
The Centre was told by the State Government officials that of the 340 relief camps, only 218 remained and number of affected persons living the relief camps has gone down to 2.3 lakh from over 4 lakh.
The police have registered over 400 cases and 170 persons have so far been arrested for their involvement in the violence, said sources.
Sources said that the BPF is very unhappy with the developments in BTAD areas and lack of coordination between the local officials and the Council. �If something goes wrong the entire blame is shifted to the Council, whereas we are totally in the dark about what is going on,� a member of the delegation told this newspaper.
The BPF, an alliance partner of the ruling Congress party is also upset over arrest of one its MLAs, Pradip Brahma. �The allegation against Brahma does not warrant his arrest, yet he was detained and cases lodged against him� he said.
The State Government has since decided to hand over the seven cases involving Brahma to the Central Bureau of Investigation for further probe.
The BPF said that there was no evidence against the MLA and whatever he has been charged with are mere allegations without proof.
The BPF leader said that the administration has been forcing people to leave the camps and go back to their villages without proper security and without undertaking any confidence building measures. �We have not been consulted on this and the local administration is not taking the Council into confidence,� he said.
The delegation pointed out that the current round of violence can be attributed to the forceful shifting of people to their villages by the administration. Total confusion prevails in the BTAD areas and BPF fears further unrest, Shinde was told.
People belonging to three-four villages living in the 122 camps have been sent back home, in utter disregard for their safety, he said.
The BPF leaders have stressed confidence building measures ahead of repatriation of the victims from the relief camps.
Later, emerging from the meeting at North Block, BTC deputy chief Kampa Borgoyari told newspersons that the BPF team protested the arrested of its MLA Pradip Brahma, at the meeting. The BPF leaders alleged that the arrest was carried out without approval of the Chief Minister and the Director General of Police.
The BPF team also made it clear at the meeting that the Centre should identify the illegal migrants staying at the relief camps before carrying out rehabilitation work, Borgoyari told the newspersons.