Must learn to live together: Chidambaram to Assam

July 31st, 2012 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Calling Assam as a “typical” example of a plural society, Home Minister P. Chidambaram Tuesday appealed to all communities in the state to “learn to live together”.

At his monthly media interaction to present his ministry’s performance report, Chidambaram also refused to comment on the Indian Army’s response to call for help from the state government.

“My appeal to them is we must learn to live together. Whether they live in this legal arrangement or in that legal arrangement… Whatever the legal arrangement is, they have to learn to live together,” Chidambaram said, replying to question on the Assam riots.

“In fact, all states in India are becoming more and more plural. Delhi is a fine example of plural society. We have to live together,” he said.

Referring to recent clashes between Bodos and Muslim immigrants in the state, Chidambaram said: “Assam is a typical example of pluralistic society where communities like Bodos, minorities, Bengali Hindus, Adivasis, Rajbongshis and others live.”

The home minister had visited the violence-hit state earlier this week.

Asked about the reported delay in armed forces deployment in Kokrajhar and adjoining districts during the riots, Chidambaram refused to comment saying he had no knowledge on when the defence ministry had received the request from the Assam government.

“When did the ministry of defence respond to that request and under what circumstances, obviously I cannot comment without knowing the facts,” he said.

On reported complaint from Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on the delay by the army, Chidambaram said the chief minister had personally refuted those reports.

He said the immediate task of the government was to provide relief to violence-affected people, rehabilitate them and provide proper security to them.

Giving details of the affected in the riots, the home minister said 56 people had lost their lives and another four lakh were displaced for whom 278 relief camps had been set up.

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