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Check ethnic violence in BTAD: President

By SPL correspondent

NEW DELHI, Feb 11 � In a terse message to the Tarun Gogoi government, President Pranab Mukherjee has advised a hardline approach to contain ethnic violence in the BTAD areas, underlining the need to counter the menace.

�Ethnic violence in Assam needs to be countered effectively, especially the sinister motives to drive a wedge between Bodo and non-Bodo sections. The genuine aspirations of the Bodo people in terms of development must be addressed expeditiously. Under no circumstances can the spread of ethnic hatred be tolerated,� said the President in his opening remarks at the 46th Conference of Governors at Rashtrapati Bhavan here today.

Stating that development of the North-east is a priority area, Mukherjee acknowledged that much needs to be done for infrastructure development and to harness its tourism potential.

Mukherjee said the Governors of the north eastern states have a pivotal role to play in the administration of the autonomous areas. Village and municipal councils must be set up and elections conducted for decentralisation of power.

The President said he was happy to learn that the Government is proposing to amend the Sixth Schedule to strengthen the democratic process in these areas. There is also a need to devolve more developmental funds to these areas. Laws prevailing in them also need to be codified, the President pointed out.

He said autonomous councils and autonomous district councils (ADCs), set up under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution in Assam Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura, enjoy legislative, executive, financial and judicial powers.

The agenda for the two-day Conference of Governors includes security - internal and external with special focus on border security in states sharing international frontiers, financial inclusion employment generation and employability- making skill development programmes effective, sanitation � achieving the goal of Swachh Bharat by 2019 and issues relating to Fifth and Sixth Schedules of the Constitution of India and development-related issues of north eastern areas.

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