Kokrajhar, July 28 (IBNS): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday visited violence-affected Kokrjhar district in Assam to review the situation and announced a relief package of Rs 300 crores for the victims.
"I am today announcing immediate Special Central Assistance to Assam of Rupees 100 crore for relief and rehabilitation efforts. Another 100 crore of Rupees will be provided as Special Plan Assistance for development programmes in the affected areas. Further, extra fund to the tune of Rs 100 crore will be made available under the Indira Awas Yojana for the affected areas," Singh said on Saturday.
"I also announce an assistance of Rs. 2 lakh from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund to the family of each of those who have lost their lives in these tragic events.An amount of Rs. 50,000 will be provided as immediate relief to the seriously injured. To aid in rehabilitation of the affected people, an assistance of Rs 30,000 will be given to those whose houses are fully damaged and Rs. 20,000 for partially damaged houses," he said.
Singh said: "If the conflict has been instigated, the guilty must be punished."
The PM said the Central and the state government will work closely to ensure that the guilty is punished.
Singh on Saturday arrived in Assam's strife-torn Kokrajhar district.
He visited relief camps in Kokrajhar and assured that the government would do 'everything possible' to help the victims.
"My government will do everything possible to help the victims. We are here to talk to the people directly," Singh said.
"I have come here to share your sorrow and pain. This is a time for healing," he said.
"This is no time for recriminations, we need to first help the people to rehabilitate and bring peace," Singh said.
The special chopper in which Singh was heading towards Assam's strife-torn Kokrajhar district returned to Guwahati on Saturday due to some technical problem, media reports said.
He later reached Kokrajhar in an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter.
Singh was accompanied by state Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik, chief minister Tarun Gogoi, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh and Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Bhubaneswar Kalita.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was scheduled to visit Kokrajhar with Singh. But she apparently pulled out from the visit at the last moment.
The ongoing Bodo versus Muslims clashes in the region that claimed nearly 50 lives and rendered lakhs homeless.
While Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was criticized for slow response to the violence, he blamed the Centre for the worrying situation.
Meanwhile, being widely criticised for the handling of the situation in the state Gogoi, a Congress leader himself, sought to point fingers at the Centre for delay in Army deployment saying the situation would not have deteriorated had it been deployed on the first day.
Underscoring a growing divide between the Congress leadership in the state and at the Centre, the chief minister said his government did not get any intelligence report from the Union Home Ministry that there was going to be such a flare-up.