Gogoi seeks media help to restore peace


Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Thursday sought the media’s help to restore peace in the state.

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The chief minister met editors of Assam newspapers and appealed to them to extend all help and cooperation to the government.

He said the authorities wanted to restore peace in areas affected by ethnic violence and to speed up the process of rehabilitating the large numbers displaced by unrest.

Gogoi made it clear that only genuine Indian citizens — and not alleged infiltrators from Bangladesh — would be rehabilitated.

More than 70 people were killed in clashes between Bodo tribals and Bengali-speaking Muslims in Assam last month. The arson destroyed scores of homes and rendered thousands homeless.

The Bodos alleged that many of the Muslims were illegal settlers from Bangladesh.

Gogoi appraised the editors about the measures initiated by the government to provide relief to the homeless.

He said the government had accorded utmost priority to decongest the crowded relief camps and to maintain proper sanitation and hygiene.

“The media can play a very positive role in such a situation,” he said, and urged journalists to provide news based only on reliable sources.

“We have to remove the fear psychosis so that they return to their homes. Instilling a sense of security is a must,” the chief minister said.

Gogoi also underscored the need to create a congenial atmosphere so that the mass of northeastern people who fled Bangalore and other cities fearing retaliation for the Assam violence could return.

“Our government is in close touch with the institutions in which they were previously employed and those institutions have agreed to take them back,” he said.