Guwahati: The central government was to blame for the recent violence in Assam that left 79 people dead and rendered over two lakh people homeless, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said Tuesday, alleging a nexus between the BJP and Bodo militants.
Gogoi said this to the media while countering the Bharatiya Janata Party's allegation that the state government failed to act on intelligence inputs provided by central agencies and prevent the violence that rocked the three districts of Sonitpur, Kokrajhar and Chirang Dec 23.
He alleged a nexus between the BJP and the Bodo militants and said the the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) faction opposed to peace talks had supported the party during the Lok Sabha polls in Assam.
A case had also been registered in this regard, Gogoi said.
"If I am responsible for the violence, the Centre has more responsibility. The General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the army's 4 Corps based in Tezpur is the operational head of the Unified Command structure that carries out counter-insurgency operations in Assam. So, it is the responsibility of the army, which is under the Centre," he said.
"We received intelligence inputs about a probable attack by militants. However, the central agencies had also received the same information. I want to ask them what were the central agencies doing? Why couldn't they prevent the attacks?" Gogoi asked.
"This is not the time for a blame-game. The BJP is trying to politicise the violence. The central government has not blamed me but I have seen that some BJP leaders are trying to blame me. I am only answering their allegations," the chief minister said.
Asked about his allegation of the BJP's nexus with the NDFB, Gogoi said the people of Assam know the party had the support of the militants.
"The militants had targeted our party candidate in Tezpur Lok Sabha constituency. We had to provide him a bullet-proof car for campaigning. So, people of Assam are aware about the nexus," he said.
Gogoi said the situation was fast returning to normal in the three districts. As of now, 2.11 lakh people were taking shelter in relief camps in the affected areas.
"We have deployed maximum security personnel in the affected areas. At present, we have 135 companies of security forces in Assam. We have built pickets in interior places to ensure security and instill confidence among the people," he said.