All India Congress Committee general secretary Digvijay Singh on Friday rued that a section of political parties were out to fan communal sentiments over the latest spell of riot in Assam while making an appeal to all sections of people to maintain restraint at this critical juncture so that normalcy could be restored properly in the riot-hit areas.
The riot in Assam that claimed over 70 lives besides displacing over 1 lakh people from Bodo and Muslim communities while 5,367 houses belonging to both communities were razed to ground by rioters.
After returning from two-day visit to riot-hit areas in western Assam, Singh said, "When Assam is burning, what is important is to bring peace in these areas rather than inciting the people with highly communal statements. Unfortunately, there are political parties who thrive on such situations and take advantage of any divisive sentiments," he added without naming any party.
He called upon the State government to constitute peace committees at local level besides setting up security pickets to instill confidence among the riot-hit so that rehabilitation process could be expedited. He said the condition of relief camps was quite satisfactory and relief was distributed properly.
He also suggested that all places of worship that may have been destroyed or damaged in the violence should be restored by the government besides rehabilitating the displaced people.
The Congress leader admitted that there was a bit of delay in deploying the army after the riot had broken out and said it was due to the standard operation procedures, which cannot be overlooked.
Regarding the decision taken by the Bodoland Territorial Council to verify the credentials of the violence-displaced now lodged in relief camps before their rehabilitation, Singh said only genuine citizens would be rehabilitated through proper verification of documents.
The BTC leadership's stand is borne out of their apprehension that there large number of illegal migrants lodged in those camps of violence-displaced with a hope for rehabilitation.Meanwhile, former Assam chief minister and the president of the Opposition Asom Gana Parishad Prafulla Kumar Mahanta on Friday embarked on a journey to visit violence-hit people in Kokrajhar and Dhubri districts of Assam. He talked to leader of various sections of the society besides meeting riot-hit in relief camps.