Gogoi 'thanks' Assam despite people's ridicule

During his stocktaking visit to the violence-hit areas of Golaghat district in upper Assam, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had to face massive public outrage in the region, with people openly ridiculing him and even burning his effigy.

Gogoi had earlier drawn criticism for not visiting the strife-hit areas along the Assam-Nagaland border, where a violence flare-up has so far claimed the lives of 14 people as of Monday evening.

This time, however, it was his presence what incurred the wrath of affected locals who shouted “go-back” slogans.

The agitation went so out of hand that police personnel had to resort to firing and lathicharge to disperse the crowd of over 3,000 displaced villagers at a relief camp in the Uriamghat area on Monday.

Many women questioned the chief minister directly, “Where were you when the villagers were being brutally killed?” Displaced adivasis did not make way for Gogoi’s attempts to pacify them, with accusations that the state administration was responsible for failing to provide security in the region that comes under the jurisdiction of the Dhansiri subdivision.

Even before his departure from the region, the chief minister had to witness a protest spearheaded by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and other social organisations near the Swahid Kushal Konwar Smriti Bhavan at Sarupathar.

Protesters burnt an effigy of Gogoi and alleged that the government had been negligent about security in villages along the border. Police had to intervene here, too, and used batons and tear gas shells to break up the protesters.

Later on Monday evening, the chief minister met media persons here and admitted that there was a failure on the part of the Central Reserve Police Force. He said that he had already apprised the prime minister and home minister  of the ongoing border flare-up in Assam.

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