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Sonowal pitches for adequate security

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, Jan 1 � Providing adequate security in the vulnerable areas to instill confidence in the minds of the people is the need of the hour so that the displaced people can return home to start cultivation, said Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal after visiting some relief camps in Kokrajhar district. He also said that a blame-game to gain political mileage out of the situation would not help anyone.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Sonowal said he spoke to a number of inmates of the relief camps in Kokrajhar on Wednesday and felt there was need for removing the fear psychosis from the minds of the people. The people wanted to return home to start a normal life, but they were apprehensive of doing so. The Government would have to ensure adequate security presence in the vulnerable villages to prevent further killings of innocents, he said.

On the condition of the relief camps, Sonowal said apart from the Government, different non-governmental organisations had also extended help to the inmates of the relief camps. However, the inmates said there was need for firewood, medicines, baby food, mosquito nets etc.

The Union Minister said that after providing security in the vulnerable areas, the Government should take immediate steps for rehabilitating the displaced people. He said if the State Government requires funds for rehabilitation of the displaced people, it should immediately approach the Centre with a detailed proposal. He pointed out that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had already assured of full support to the Assam Government in this regard. He further said that the Centre was always ready to extend all possible help to the State and additional security forces were immediately rushed to Assam after receiving a request from the State.

Sonowal revealed that a team headed by senior BJP leader SS Ahluwalia is also visiting Sonitpur district to assess the situation in the relief camps and the team would soon submit its report to the Union Home Minister.

Replying to a question on the allegation by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi about links between some BJP leaders with the NDFB (S), Sonowal expressed the view that a blame-game at this moment would not help anyone. He said that the Government of India has already entrusted the National Investigation Agency (NIA) with the responsibility of conducting an impartial probe into the killing of innocents so that all those involved can be brought to book. The State Government should extend all possible help to the NIA to nab the culprits involved and the political head of the state should refrain from making baseless allegations.

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