Govt acted late, BJP making dangerous statements: CPI-M

Guwahati: The CPI(M) today blamed the state government for not acting on time to prevent the ethnic clashes in lower Assam and accused BJP leaders of making "communal statements."

"The state government failed to act on time when the first incidents of attack took place on July 19 and 20.

Kokrajhar and nearby areas have a history of ethnic clashes and the government should have acted fast when the initial incidents took place," Communist Party of India (Marxist) state committee secretary Uddhab Barman alleged here.

He also accused, "While such a massive humanitarian crisis is going on it is unfortunate that senior BJP leaders, including L K Advani, are making statements which will only inflame passions."

The CPI(M) leader refuted allegations made by Advani and others that Bangladeshi immigrants are behind the violence.

"If you study the Census report, you will find that the decadal growth rate of population in Kokrajhar district was much less than the average for Assam and the whole of India.

"This proves that there is no basis to the charge that immigrants are sweeping through the area," Barman said.

He called upon the government to formulate plans for protecting the rights and interest of both Bodos and non-Bodos in the BTAD districts.

"The state government should also investigate the issue of illegal arms and ensure their seizure in case they exist," Barman said.

Meanwhile, no new incidents of violence were reported from Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts since yesterday.

Altogether 77 people have died in the strife since July 19, while over four lakh have been displaced.

"Night curfew is in place in all three districts and security forces are maintaining constant vigil," a senior police official said here.