Relaymedia

Christian Body in Assam appeals for peace

"Migration of people from one part of the country to another is a democratic right to be welcomed.."
( [email protected] ) Nov 25, 2003 11:05 AM EST

New Delhi, India., Nov. 25 - A Christian body last Saturday appealed to the central and Assam governments to try and put a stop to the violence in the northeastern state primarily targeted at people hailing from Bihar.



The Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) said the violent campaign in Assam against settlers from Bihar should be dealt with strongly.



"Migration of people from one part of the country to another is a democratic right to be welcomed as it gives a better scope for greater national integration," said the organisation.



"Any attempt to undermine this aspect would be detrimental to national interest and must be nipped in the bud."



The state was rocked by fresh violence on Saturday as gunmen riding motorcycles killed eight Hindi-speaking people, pushing the toll to 39 since the attacks began earlier this month.



The ULFA, which is fighting for an independent homeland in Assam, last week asked all Hindi-speaking people to leave the state and warned of attacks if they defied the order.



The violence started when Assamese youths prevented Bihari candidates from taking recruitment tests for railway jobs on November 9.



Biharis retaliated three days later by attacking trains bound for Assam, injuring 50 people and triggering a cycle of violence.