The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Delhi salve on Hindi speakers

Guwahati, Aug. 14: Union minister of state for home Sri Prakash Jaiswal today resorted to the sound and fury that invariably follows every bout of bloodletting, asking Hindi-speaking people in Karbi Anglong not to worry about security and warning militant groups of reprisal.

“What has happened in Karbi Anglong is very unfortunate. Our government has taken the incidents very seriously. In a country like ours, where people of diverse faith, language and culture co-exist, such incidents cannot be tolerated,” Jaiswal told the media after a meeting with chief minister Tarun Gogoi.

On whether just going after the militant groups behind the carnage would solve the problem, he said: “Problems can be sorted out only across the table. No solution can be achieved through bullets.”

The minister later visited Aampahar, where militants targeted a colony of Hindi-speaking people and took eight lives last week.

Jaiswal also made a trip to Hauraghat Hindi High School, where over 350 Hindi-speaking villagers have been staying since Ulfa and the Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front started jointly targeting the community. He told the inmates that the government would pull out all stops to protect them. The Karbi Anglong Hindi Bhasi Chatra Sanstha and the Hindi Bhasi Parishad handed a joint memorandum to the minister.

Deputy commissioner M. Angamuthu said 3,000 Hindi-speaking people were sheltered in 12 relief camps.

Just before leaving the troubled zone, Jaiswal had a 20-minute discussion with Angamuthu. “We requested him to send 10 additional companies of security forces for the protection of Hindi-speaking villagers. We also asked for satellite phones for the remote areas. He assured us that all these requirements would be considered,” the deputy commissioner said.

As many as 19 companies of security forces have been deployed in Karbi Anglong so far. These include seven from the army, eight from the CRPF and four from the BSF.

The bandh called by organisations representing Hindi-speaking people and political parties in protest against the violence in Karbi Anglong paralysed life across the state.

In Karimganj, deputy commissioner Anurag Goel invoked Section 144 after a commotion during the bandh. Officials said a mentally unstable Muslim youth had an altercation with a man who was trying to enforce the bandh and had stabbed him with a knife. The incident led to a mob frenzy. At least three youths were injured in the mayhem.

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