x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Pakistan responsible for whipping up Assam violence fears: India's BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has backed the government's stand that the violence in north-east India and the return of the region's people home from other states were being 'deliberately instigated' by elements in Pakistan.

NEW DELHI // The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) yesterday said it backed the government's stand that the violence in north-east India and the return of the region's people home from other states were being "deliberately instigated" by elements in Pakistan.

Responding to a query during a press conference at Ahmedabad, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said the BJP denounced the violence in the north-east and the exodus of the region's people from cities in other states following mischievous SMSes warning of attacks.

Referring to India's stand that Pakistan-based elements were using social media sites to circulate false pictures and stories to whip up communal sentiments, Mr Jaitley said: "The Congress has made a very important disclosure and I am certain the government has examined it in all seriousness."

Migrant workers and students from India's north-east took special trains as they fled the cities of Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Mumbai after rumours began spreading that they may be the target of violence following ethnic clashes in Assam last month that killed 77 and displaced more than 400,000. The government banned bulk mobile-phone texting to check rumours, the home secretary, RK Singh, said last week

Abdul Rehman Malik asked India for evidence that the rumours were being spread by websites based in Pakistan and promised to take action, the Press Trust of India reported yesterday.

Four people died after they were beaten up and thrown out of a special train carrying migrants to Guwahati from Bangalore, The Indian Express reported yesterday, citing railway and police officials it did not identify. Nine others were injured in the attack on passengers, it said.

"We are one with the government that this trouble is being deliberately instigated in our country at the behest of our western neighbour,'' Mr Jaitley said.

The BJP leader also reiterated the party's position that the recent violence in Assam that claimed more than 70 lives was due to influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh.