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Riots took Assam by surprise: CM Tarun Gogoi


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit the riot-hit areas of Assam on Saturday even as the state government said it was caught off guard when ethnic disturbances broke out last week. The riots — between the Bodos and immigrant Muslims in lower Assam — have claimed 44 lives so far.


Chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who visited Kokrajhar on Thursday, said: “The government was not ready for a situation like this. Now we have adequate security forces. The situation (is) normalising.”


Gogoi said R6 lakh would be given to the family of each of those who died during the riots.


The state government would also provide financial support to rebuild the houses destroyed, he added.


Four more bodies were recovered in Chirang on Thursday as violence spread to Baska, another Bodo-dominated district. 

Three people were injured when unidentified gunmen fired at them.


“(Apart from this) there was no major incident in the past 24 hours,” said SN Singh, inspector general of police, Bodoland Territorial Areas district.


On Thursday, the army again staged a flag march in Chirang. Curfew was relaxed for four hours from 8am to noon.


The ripple effects of the riots were felt in West Bengal as around 2,000 people from Assam have migrated to neighbouring Jalpaiguri district.


Chief minister Mamata Banerjee held out the assurance that the state would provide shelter to the riot-affected.


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