GUWAHATI, Aug 22 � As part of the confidence-building measures for restoring normalcy in strife-torn BTAD, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today had an interaction with civil society members, opinion makers and representatives of various communities at the Assam Administrative Staff College during which he underscored the need for a pro-active role by civil society in normalizing the situation.
The Chief Minister also ruled out rehabilitating illegal migrants, as have been apprehended by some quarters.
�While it would take some time to mend the breach of trust from the minds of the people, and also to send all the relief camp inmates back to their respective villages, it is civil society which can play a key role in restoring normalcy and doing away with the widely-prevalent sense of fear and mistrust,� Gogoi said.
On the mass exodus of north-easterners from South India, Gogoi said that most of the people who had fled from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and other States following rumours about impending attacks on them, were also willing to go back as early as possible.
�We have been in touch with the people who came back in the wake of rumour-triggered fear. Most of them are job-holders there and they do not want to lose their jobs,� he said.
On rehabilitation of the violence-affected in BTAD, the Chief Minister said that the people currently staying at relief camps in Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Chirang and Bongaigaon districts would be rehabilitated as early as possible.
He said that those whose houses had been burnt would be first shifted to camps closer to their villages, so that the schools currently functioning as relief camps could be reopened.
Gogoi revealed that the Government would facilitate joint patrolling of villages by members from both communities so as to restore the lost trust between the two communities.
Civil society representatives, on their part, urged the Government to start a sustained crackdown on illegal arms in possession of various groups across the State.
�Illegal arms are there with different groups not just in the Bodoland districts but all over the State. This is one reason behind violence, and the Government should prevent any group from holding arms once they are in a peace process� Kanaksen Deka, veteran journalist and former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha, said.