No talks with ULFA: Laloo
The RJD chief has said it is pointless to invite the banned ULFA, which has ordered the Biharis to leave Assam, for talks as even the location of its leaders is not known.Updated: Nov 28, 2003 19:23 IST
RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav on Monday said it was pointless to invite the banned ULFA, which had ordered the Biharis to leave the state, for negotiations as even the location of its leaders was not known.
"Where do I go to search the ULFA. Ek lantern le ke unko doondne nikloo kya (should I go out in search for them with a lantern) Where are they",Laloo shot back at a reporter when he asked whether he felt the extremist outfit should be called for talks.
"Do you know where the ULFA is? At least, I do not know so what is the point", he asked.
The RJD MP said he had heard somewhere that the top ULFA leaders were in Bangladesh. "Tell me how to trace them out," he said.
"Instead of talking tall, we should concentrate on ensuring that peace returns to the state and the Biharis and the locals live as 'BhaiBhai'", he added.
Rubbishing the claim of Union Minister for Northeast Affairs CP Thakur that a "third force" was active against the Biharis, he said "whatever is happening in Assam today is the fault of the Centre and there is no so-called third force in action against the Biharis".
"Today I met the All Assam Students Union (AASU) leaders who said the provisions of the Assam Accord which ensures job reservation for locals were not honoured", he said.
But they agreed that those outsiders who had been residing in the state since hundreds of years were treated as locals and would get reservation, the MP said.
Yadav accused the BJP and Shiv Sena of inciting communal passion in Bihar leading to violence in Assam.
"A BJP MP sat in a dharna after train passengers from Assam were attacked in Katihar with support from the Shiv Sena which created unnecessary tension and subsequent violence against Biharis in Assam," Yadav told a press conference here.
When asked to comment on the RSS chief's remark that the Bangladeshis were behind the massacre, the RJD MP shot back saying they always had a tendency to blame either Pakistan or Bangladesh for problems in the NE region.
Biharis were killed by ULFA: Gogoi
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday told RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav that Biharis killed in Assam were targeted by the banned ULFA and not victims of mob violence.
"ULFA has an anti-Hindi stance and this was evident from the ban against they announced on Hindi films before the outbreak of the ongoing violence," Gogoi told Yadav, heading a good will mission to Assam, during a closed-door luncheon meeting at his residence in Khanapara.
The Chief Minister said the ULFA was exclusively responsible for the ongoing violence and the state did not have adequate forces to check insurgency.
AASU urges Laloo to ensure passenger safety
The All Assam Students Union (AASU) on Monday urged RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav to ensure safety of Assam train passengers travelling through Bihar, while assuring him that it would take all steps to protect Biharis in the state.
A delegation of the AASU led by its advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya called on Yadav and discussed the situation arising out of the violence against Biharis in Assam.
The delegation urged the RJD chief to ensure that retaliatory action did not take place in that state, to which Laloo assured that all action would be taken.
The AASU leaders also pointed out the Assam Accord clause that lower grade jobs in the central sector should be reserved for the locals.
The student body which took out a procession on Monday also assured the Bihar MP that they would take all means to protect the lives of the Biharis settled in the state.
Cong demands additional troops for Assam
In New Delhi, the Congress has demanded deployment of additional paramilitary forces to maintain peace in Assam in the wake of killings of Biharis in the state.
The demand was made at a meeting two senior party leaders Manmohan Singh and Shivraj Patil had with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Sunday, Singh told reporters here.
Singh said they apprised Vajpayee about the prevailing situation in the Congress ruled state and impressed upon the need for deployment of additional paramilitary forces in the state to maintain peace.
However, he said it was the duty of the state as well as the central government to utilise their resources to restore peace in the troubled state. The party leadership was in constant touch with the state government.
First Published: Nov 26, 2003 00:00 IST