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Laloo to visit Assam on peace mission

November 22, 2003 20:46 IST

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Laloo Prasad Yadav plans to visit Assam next week on a peace mission in the wake of continuing violence against Biharis.

He will be leading an all-party delegation. The RJD chief expressed concern over the killing of 12 Bihari labourers by suspected United Liberation Front of Asom militants in Tinsukia district.

Laloo also slammed the Centre accusing it of 'callousness' in addressing the problem.

"Despite Assam government's repeated request for adequate paramilitary forces, the NDA government was reluctant to make them available to the strife-torn state," Yadav said addressing a joint press conference with Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi in Patna.

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"The Centre is bound by the Constitution to fully support the state faced with an emergency situation like this, but the NDA government seems least bothered," Yadav added.

Yadav, who had a telephonic talk with Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani, the second in as many days, said, "I requested him to lead an all-party parliamentary delegation on a goodwill mission to Assam to instill a sense of confidence and security among the Biharis."

"I requested Advani to persuade leaders of all parties in Parliament to give a go-by to electioneering for a day and visit Assam as national unity and integrity is threatened by the unbridled violence unleashed by the separatist ULFA against Biharis in Assam," he said.

Yadav said he would be leaving for New Delhi on Sunday to apprise Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and other leaders of the situation and to ask them to visit the state.

Rabri Devi alleged that laxity and fear on the part of the local police had led to unchecked violence against Biharis in Assam.

"It is time the Centre stepped in with all firmness to put down the violence against innocent Bihari labourers scattered across Assam," she said. "It is the duty of the Centre to help Assam and Bihar in their moment of crisis as national unity is at stake."

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