Edited by Shamik Ghosh | Updated: August 06, 2012 16:26 IST
After 10 days of peace, violence once again broken out in Assam on Sunday. Four more bodies were recovered from the Kokrajhar and Chirang districts, taking the number of dead in the ethnic clashes to 63.
Additional forces have been rushed to these areas, where security personnel are still deployed. The army is conducting flag marches in the affected places. Home Secretary RK Singh said today, "The situation is under control as of now. There could be some external elements behind the violence."
There were also reports of a medical emergency in the relief camps. According to the state government, out of the over 8000 children in relief camps, 6000 are sick. The government has said that the medical emergency is due to overcrowding in the relief camps. According to reports, there are just above 100 doctors to attend to the 3.5 lakh people in the camps.
57 people were killed in the first wave of violence in the state which has led to lakhs of people left displaced.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Home Minister P Chidambaram visited the state last month. "I have come here to share your sorrow and pain and this is a time for healing," Dr Singh, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, said during his visit. He also announced Rs 300 crore relief package for the violence-hit state.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi came under severe criticism for the violence in his state. Along with the BJP, Mr Gogoi came under fire from his leaders of his own party members. "We have lost confidence in the state government and in its ability to control violence and that is why we have asked the Centre to intervene," said Congress Rajya Sabha member K Rehman Khan after meeting the former Home Minister P Chidambaram last month.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) blamed illegal immigrants for the violence and charged the Congress with "inaction" in checking their entry into the country for vote-bank politics and demanded the resignation of Mr Gogoi. "The government did not take appropriate action in time to prevent the Assam violence.... Illegal migrants are behind the problem. But the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government is not doing anything on the issue.... It is only doing vote bank politics," BJP general secretary Vijay Goel said.
Though the Congress defended its Chief Minister, it announced a 10-member coordination committee to look into the violence in Assam. It includes critics of Mr Gogoi.
The situation in lower Assam had been tense since early July, when two Bengali-speaking Muslim settlers were killed. Two more were killed on July 19, but the police failed to identify the killers. On July 20, four former Bodo Liberation Tigers men were killed. The Bodos retaliated by attacking Bengali-speaking settlers and the clashes began.
Sources had told NDTV that when the first incident of ethnic violence happened in Assam on July 19, the Centre alerted the state. Sources also say that the state sought deployment of the Army on Monday, July 23. A reluctant Army reportedly wanted clarification from the Defence Ministry on deployment because the situation seemed to have communal overtones. As the situation deteriorated rapidly and another request was made, the ministry cleared Army deployment on Wednesday, July 25, the sources said.
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