Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Sunday wanted swift legal action against people behind the violence in Assam and also stern action against those 'spoiling' harmony in the wake of the exodus of people from the northeast in some states.
A concerned Sonia said the Assam violence was a matter of 'great sorrow' and condemned the treatment meted out to people from the northeast in its aftermath in some parts of the country.
"Whatever happened in Assam is a matter of great sorrow and concern. Legal action should happen swiftly against those responsible for the incident, whoever they are.
"Besides, everybody should condemn the treatment being meted out to the innocent people in some parts of the country. The central and the state governments should take stern action against those spoiling the harmony," she said.
Sonia said the country belonged to all Indians and that they have a right to live in any part of the country. She was addressing a ceremony to confer the 20th Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhawana Award here in which Prime Manmohan Singh was present along with his senior cabinet colleagues and party leaders.
The award with a citation and Rs 5 lakh cash was given to D R Mehta, the founder of Bhagwan Mahaveer Vikalang Sahayata Samiti.
"All sections of the society should come together to create such an atmosphere. This is true service of humanity," she said noting that the situations that have arisen in the country today are the one related to social unity and harmony.
"If we look at the history since Independence, the biggest challenge before the country has always come from those elements, who are enemies of social harmony and unity. Those, who have faced these elements and fought with them are the true warriors and in present circumstances, I consider only them true patriots," Sonia said.
The Congress President said late Rajiv Gandhi always fought against social communal tensions, violence and and hatred and sacrificed his life fighting them.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that Rajiv knew very well that India can progress only when all the countrymen can live together with peace, tolerance and harmony.