New Delhi: 1.05 pm: The CBI has begun inquiry into the violence, says Shinde.
12.52 pm: Our task is to talk about and bring peace, says Shinde.
12.51 pm: "I think talking on communal lines in such matter is a threat to national security," says Shinde.
In a scathing criticism, BJP\'s Arun Jaitley said that it was the Cong vote bank politics that was to blame for the Assam violence.
12.50 pm: Government counters Opposition. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde says the Assam violence is not an issue of one party. "Violence has not erupted for the first time in the three districts of Assam," he adds.
In a scathing criticism of the government, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said that it was the Congress' vote bank politics that was to blame for the week-long violence in some parts of lower Assam.
"The search for alternative vote banks in Assam is the root cause of the problem there. It was because this government allowed the settlement of foreign nationals there.
"No other country has allowed such a blatant encroachment by illegal foreign nationals as we have in parts of Assam," Jaitley said.
He added that the Assam government had failed disastrously in tackling the violence.
"The Assam government failed in tackling the violence. I would urge it to not treat this case as a simple crime. The guilty must be punished," said Jaitley as the matter was raised in the Rajya Sabha.
He added, "With the kind of situation existing in the area, such incidents can reoccur. The state government has completely failed."
Seventy-seven people have lost their lives in the sporadic clashes between Bodos and Muslims in BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts) and Dhubri district in the last fortnight as Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi described the situation as akin to a volcano.
Several Bodo organisations as well as some political parties maintain that the violence was the result of unabated influx of immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.
Muslims along with another section of political parties, however, counter it by claiming that the affected people were not immigrants, but only indigenous members of the community.
"The continuing influx has created pressure on land and this has not only threatened the identity of the indigenous Bodos, but has created lingering tension between them and the immigrants, culminating in the recent violence," President of EX-Bodoland Liberation Tigers (BLT) Welfare Associaton Jonomohan Muchahary pointed out.
"The ongoing tension in BTAD is a fight between indigenous people and illegal immigrants. The Bodos are the original residents of the BTAD and their leadership has to be accepted by the others living in the area," Chairperson of Bodo Justice Women's Forum (BJWF) Anjali Daimary said.
(With additional information from PTI)
- Assam violence: Homeless people live in fear
- Assam violence brings illegal migration back in focus