With 32 people being killed in Assam, the Centre today said it is determined to curb attacks on minorities as the violence there was aimed at starting a "full-fledged communal conflagration".
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that in the last few days, there have been wanton acts of depredation leading to death of 32 people, mostly women and children, and of them, 31 belonged to the minority community. "These innocent lives were lost at the hands of cadres of certain group. The objective of this group seems to be aimed at starting a full-fledged communal conflagration," he said in a statement here.
Without name NDFB(S), the Bodo militant group believed to be responsible for the violence, the Home Minister said these acts of violence have started only after the group started steadily losing its cadres either through surrender or elimination during operations when they opened fire on the forces. "The central government cannot remain unaffected by these killings and is determined to ensure the safety and security of innocent human lives. "This determination is all the more important since these incidents are targeted at the minorities," he said.
Strongly condemning the acts of the militant group, Shinde said the Home Ministry has already deployed 43 companies (4300 personnel) of central armed police forces and 10 more companies (1000 personnel) are being sent. He said Ministry of Defence also has deployed 15 columns of the army comprising of approximately 1500 soldiers. These numbers are not fixed and can be increased as per further requirement, he said. "My appeal to all is to maintain calm and quiet as the forces on the ground will definitely control the situation and bring the guilty to justice," Shinde said.
He said the public leaders of both Bodo and minority community must see to it that the situation does not deteriorate. The violence has so far claimed 32 lives in three Bodo- dominated districts -- Kokrajhar, Chirang and Baska - in Assam in last three days. The Assam government has sought an NIA probe into the violence. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has promised to hunt down those involved in the killings.