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Centre okays additional troops for Assam as Biharis flee

The Centre on Thursday agreed to deploy six additional BSF companies in Assam to bring an end to the violence directed at Biharis. They will be deployed in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts in the next few days. Meanwhile, hundreds of Biharis have started fleeing Assam. Trains leaving Assam are at full capacity, a railways spokesman said. "Seats are already full in all the trains," he said.

india Updated: Nov 26, 2003 20:46 IST

The Centre on Thursday agreed to deploy six additional BSF companies in Assam to bring an end to the violence directed at Biharis. They will be deployed in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts in the next few days.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Biharis have started fleeing Assam. Trains leaving Assam are at full capacity, a railways spokesman said. "Seats are already full in all the trains," he said.

A home ministry statement said the Centre was monitoring the situation and was in constant touch with the Assam government. At the moment, the bulk of the paramilitary forces has been deployed in the five states going to assembly polls.

Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee directed the Assam and Bihar governments to take strong measures to tackle the situation.

Vajpayee spoke over the phone with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav and enquired about the steps being taken in their states to restore normalcy, PMO sources said.

In Bhopal, Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani expressed concern over the targetting of Biharis. Advani said the Centre could not remain a silent spectator. "I feel it is the responsibility of every political party to keep restraint and deal strictly with the law and order problem," he said.

In Patna, Laloo talked to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Talking to the Hindustan Times, he denied that he had 'complained' to the Congress president about inadequate security measures taken by the Gogoi government to save the lives and property of Biharis. "I only asked her to talk to Gogoi about the mayhem," he said.

Laloo, however, reiterated that the Assam government needed to take stringent measures to quell the violence immediately.

The RJD chief also talked to Tarun Gogoi to enquire about the situation.

First Published: Nov 26, 2003 00:00 IST