Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said the late arrival of central forces,including the Army,had led to the spread of ethnic clashes in parts of the state,adding that he was not blaming anybody because dispatch of forces takes time.
The system is like that… Violence however wouldnt have escalated if we had enough reserve companies of central forces. Though we had about 150 till recently,the Centre took away several leaving us with only 96, Gogoi said. While violence began on July 20,central forces arrived three days later. The Army moved in on July 25.
I personally called up the Army commander (in Kolkata) and defence minister the day the violence broke out requesting deployment of the Army, Gogoi said.
The CM also dismissed a communal angle,calling it a clash between miscreants.
With over 3.92 lakh people in relief camps,Gogoi said panic caused by rumours was behind the exodus. The people taking shelter is high compared to the past six major conflicts in the state, he said.