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Gogoi blames union home minister for border problem

PTI 20 Aug 2014, 16:34:27 PM IST
Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today accused Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh of failing to provide security along the state's border with Nagaland and accused the Centre of not taking the recent violence there

Addressing a press conference here, Gogoi said “Yes, I am responsible as the state CM for what is happening along the border. But why are you not blaming Rajnath Singh? Why are same charges not being made against the union home minister for failing to give protection?”

The Assam-Nagaland border, he said, is a disputed subject and the area is controlled by the Centre with the help of CRPF, a ‘neutral' force which failed to provide security to the people and properties there.

But the Centre, he said, is not taking the issue seriously at all. “It is a very serious issue but the way they are handling it, is not serious.”

He condemned the police action against protesters at Rangajan area of Golaghat district yesterday and said the government will order an inquiry by Additional Chief Secretary Subhash Chandra Das into the incident that left 22 civilians and seven police personnel injured.

District police had earlier put the figure of injured at 18, including women, in the firing of rubber pellets and lathi charge when protestors turned violent and attacked police and CRPF following a road blockade agitation yesterday.

Gogoi said “A few policemen might be at fault but for that the entire force cannot be blamed. The Assam police is still one of the best police force in the country.”

The police, he said, lathi charged and used rubber bullets when protesters became violent following the rescue and release of nine Nagaland police personnel who were illegally confined by villagers since August 15.

“Despite all these, people in the border still have confidence in Assam Police and not in the central force. They want replacement of the CRPF by Assam Police.

“If the border is given to me, I will show how to protect people,” Gogoi claimed.

The chief minister said one of the protestors named Ajit Tanti had died at Rangajan when he was run over by a vehicle.  “Still we will give Rs 5 lakh to his family as an ex-gratia amount.”