| Passengers at Bangalore City railway station wait to board a train to Guwahati on Thursday night. (Bangalore News Photos) |
Guwahati, Aug. 17: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today called for a “ceasefire” among all political parties for at least two months at an all-party meeting convened at Assam Administrative Staff College here to discuss the BTAD situation.
Gogoi appealed to all parties to exercise restraint at this juncture and not to make any provocative statement that might aggravate the situation. “It’s not the time to indulge in mud-slinging to gain political mileage. We have to exercise restraint for at least two to three months till the dust settles,” he said.
AIUDF legislator A.R. Khan and AGP working president Atul Bora, while appreciating the all-party meet initiative of Gogoi, said the chief minister had requested for a “political ceasefire” for at least two months to allow the situation to normalise. “It was said in the right spirit and we all appreciate the steps taken by him to ensure peace.”
“It is a step in the right direction. In the coming days, we will work together for peace,” Bora said.
Assam PCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita echoed the other representatives.
Gogoi appealed to all parties to ensure peace and speedy rehabilitation by removing the fear psychosis from the minds of the affected. He attributed the exodus of people from some states to rumour-mongering through text and multimedia messages which caused panic among those studying or working there, though there was no untoward incident.
“I must appreciate the steps taken by my counterparts in other states. We have to create a congenial atmosphere and instil confidence so that they can go back soon,” he said.
The chief minister said the government wanted to get to the truth that led to the violence while referring to the CBI and judicial probes.
The two-and-a-half hour meeting involved representatives of the Congress, AIUDF, BJP, AGP, Trinamul, NCP, BPF, CPI, CPM and SUCI.
All party representatives expressed their views and offered suggestions.
BPF raised the issue of verification of the affected before rehabilitation but Gogoi stressed on rehabilitation first, adding several burning problems would be solved once the NRC was updated.
There was no objection from any party, sources said.
“They were all very positive and supportive,” chief secretary N.K. Das, who narrated the sequence of events leading to the violence in BTAD and other areas and the slew of steps taken by the state and central governments to provide relief and rehabilitation, told The Telegraph.
Das also revealed the Centre’s move to ban bulk text and multimedia messages, seen by the administration as the root of troubles both within and outside the state. In fact, almost all parties wanted a probe into the generation of inciting and scary messages.
The resolutions adopted at the meeting included condemnation of the violence, collective effort towards ensuring peace, emphasis on early rehabilitation of the displaced, taking note of the government efforts to contain violence and provide relief and an appeal to those living outside the region not to panic.
Those who were fleeing were asked to return to their usual place of work or studies as all the state governments had assured them of security.
Later in the day, addressing a news conference, AIUDF general secretary Aditya Langthasa said it was very unfortunate that a section of individuals and organisations such as the AASU and BJP were trying to blame the party chief Maulana Badruddin Ajmal for the exodus. “Ajmal saab had not made any communal statement relating to violence in any part of the country.”
Demanding a high-level probe into the root of the rumours, Langthasa said, “Let all of us wait for the outcome of the CBI inquiry which is expected to expose the forces behind the violence in Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Dhubri districts.”