The Assam government on Thursday said it had definite inputs that Maoist elements had infiltrated into the anti-dam agitation in the state and that the government would take “strongest” action against them.
“A section of people subscribing to Maoist philosophy have infiltrated into the ongoing anti-dam agitation and they are out to create a situation of anarchy and lawlessness by disrupting supplies and adding to the woes of the people. The government cannot remain a silent spectator,” said state Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi, who is also a spokesman for the Assam government.
On Wednesday, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said Maoists and the anti-talk faction of ULFA headed by Paresh Barua were involved in the anti-dam agitation in the state. “Maoists, anti-talk faction of ULFA and other extremist groups are involved in the protest. Maoists are helping the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), which is spearheading the stir,” he said.
Bordoloi said the government was equally concerned about the riparian rights of the people of Assam and would do everything required to protect the interests of the Assam districts located downstream of the 2,000-MW Lower Subansiri hydel project that different groups have been opposing.
“The Assam government is willing to talk to the agitators, but not with those who have no respect for elected representatives of the people. We can talk only to decent people, not to those who hurl abuses at the Chief Minister and other ministers in the name of an agitation,” Bordoloi said. He was referring to abuses hurled by Akhil Gogoi, secretary of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti that has been leading an agitation against construction of big dams on rivers in Arunachal Pradesh.
The samiti and two other groups have blocked NH-52 in Lakhimpur district in eastern Assam for more than a fortnight now and prevented movement of machinery and equipment to the Lower Subansiri hydel project at Gerukamukh being implemented by the NHPC.
Bordoloi also hit back at Akhil Gogoi for calling the CM a dam lobby agent. “There is nothing called dam lobby as alleged. The Lower Subansiri project is being implemented by NHPC, one of the largest PSUs in the country,” he said.