Everyone wants to return home: Chidambaram

Last Updated: Mon, Jul 30, 2012 16:32 hrs

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday visited relief camps in Assam's trouble-torn Kokrajhar district and later said that everyone in the camps wants to go back to their villages to rebuild their lives.

The Union Home Minister met victims of ethnic violence and assured them of all possible assistance.

"On one thing there is a complete agreement on all sides and that is that all of them want to go back to their villages. That is a good sign and so plans are being made to ensure that they can go back to their villages," said Chidambaram.

"Everybody told me that please ensure that we can go back to our villages as soon as possible," he said, adding that the Centre would provide full support to the state government.

Chidambaram said there is a generous compensation package as announced by the state and the Prime Minister to rebuild their lives.

He said the issue of the violence is a complex one because there is also a problem of illegal immigrants.

He earlier said: "I have spoken to the people in camps...I have assured them that the government will rebuild their houses and provide security."

The Home Minister informed that "57 lives have been lost." It is a matter of great sadness," he said.

"Our next task is to restore peace and harmony in Assam and then gently persuade people to go back to their villages," he said.

Chidambaram on Monday began a two day visit to survey the situation in violence-hit areas of Assam.

He first visited Kokrajhar that has been the worst hit by the ongoing ethnic clashes in the state.

During his visit, Chidambaram is reviewing the law and order situation in Kokrajhar and neighbouring areas hit by the clashes between the Bodos and the Muslim communities. He is also meeting senior officers of the state government.

He is also expected to assess the impact of relief measures and other steps taken to normalize the situation.

Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the Northeastern state torn by ethnic clashes.

Singh visited the worst affected Kokrajhar district and announced a relief package of Rs 300 crores for the victims.

A media report meanwhile said that a government document has revealed that Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi possibly ignored warning of a possible riot in the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) areas in Assam.

On July 7, president of the Kokrajhar unit of Congress sent an urgent fax to Gogoi requesting him to send CRPF forces as he feared riots could break out any moment in the state, but the CM did not respond to the mail, the report alleged.

Singh has called the clashes in Assam a blot on the face of the country and promised a proper inquiry into the incident.

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