KOKRAJHAR, July 28 � Terming the largescale ethnic riots in Assam as a �blot on the nation�, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh today announced a Rs 300-crore Central relief package for the violence-hit people.
�A sense of security should be instilled among the people in all the affected areas,� he told media persons at the Circuit House here soon after his arrival today. �This ethnic violence should not have happened. This is a blot on our nation,� the Prime Minister added.
Dr Singh announced immediate Special Central Assistance of Rs 100 crore for relief and rehabilitation efforts, another Rs 100 crore as Special Plan Assistance for development programmes in the affected areas and an additional fund of Rs 100 crore under Indira Awas Yojana for the affected areas.
He also announced an assistance of Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Ministers� National Relief Fund to the family of those who lost lives in the violence and an amount of Rs 50,000 as immediate relief to those who are seriously injured. Moreover, to aid in rehabilitation of the affected people, an assistance of Rs 30,000 will be given to those whose houses are fully damaged and Rs 20,000 for partially damaged houses.
After meeting the survivors of the violence in a relief camp here, Singh said, �The pain and suffering the recent incidents have caused to a large number of people have saddened us all. The conflict which occurred is unacceptable and must come to a stop�.
�This calamity has affected hundreds of thousands of our people. We must do every thing possible to bring relief to them and rehabilitate those who have been displaced from their homes. We must also address the causes of the conflict. If the conflict has been instigated, the guilty must be punished. The Central government will work closely with the State government to ensure this.
The Prime Minister landed at Kokrajhar SAI Complex by Army Helicopter at about 1.30 pm and visited two relief camps at Kokrajhar Commerce Collage and Bhotgaon Kashibari School near Kokrajhar Town and proceeded to Kokrajhar Circuit House.
He also met leaders of various organizations, like ABSU, AASU, AAMSU, ABMSU, BSS, etc., including senior citizens of Kokrajhar. He also held discussion with the BTC Chief Hagrama Mohilary.
Moreover, a delegation of 26 indigenous peoples� organization of Assam also met the Prime Minister and submitted memorandum.
He said, �There were initially difficulties in controlling the violence but both the Centre and Assam government will take all measures to normalise the situation and provide a healing touch to the victims as soon as possible. The need of the hour is to give a healing touch to those who have suffered a lot.�
Asked what led to the trouble, he said: �The issue is very complex and when peace returns we will analyse it.� He said this was not the time to point fingers at each other.
PTI adds: The situation in BTAD area and Dhubri, hit by violence between Bodos and minority immigrants, is slowly limping back to normal. There was no fresh incident today with the army staging flag marches and Assam Police and paramilitary forces on patrol in all the five affected districts, official sources said.
Curfew was relaxed in worst-hit Kokrajhar district from 6 am to 6 pm, while in Dhubri it was relaxed from 8 am to 10 pm with night curfew in force in Chirang. The violence since July 22 has claimed 50 lives so far, including six killed in police firing, while 57 have been injured and 10 others are missing, police sources said. At least 150 people have been arrested.
Peace committees from all sections of ethnic groups have been formed for confidence building among the affected people, the sources added.