In a controversial statement, former Assam Chief Minister alleged that the previous NDA government had pressurised him to continue with “secret killings”, which he further claimed was practised during his predecessor Prafulla Kumar Mahanta’s tenure.
Gogoi’s statement, which was made on Wednesday, stirred a series of blame game. Rubbishing the allegations, the BJP termed it as the Congress leader’s divisive political tactics. However, Mahanta not denying the nature of the killings in Assam, said that it had all started during the Congress’s rule.
Further, the veteran Congress leader claimed that the then Union Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani proposed to send former Punjab Police Chief KPS Gill, known for crushing militancy in Punjab, as the Assam governor to tackle insurgency in the state.
Claiming stiff resistance by his government during his 15 year long tenure, the proposal to send Gill to the state failed. Reportedly, the ‘gupto hoitya’ (extrajudicial killings or secret killings), which was allegedly sponsored by the then government planned to sweep away ULFA militants and in the process also their kins.
BJP leader Dilip Saikia denied Gogoi’s claims said that the party favoured peace in Assam which is why it held talks with insurgent groups like ULFA, NSCN, NDFB and others. Saikia went ahead to claim that the party would never want India’s integrity at the cost of innocent lives. However, it was Congress who discontinued talks with the groups, claimed Saikia.
It may be noted that, AGP leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta claimed that the secret killings began during the tenure of his Congress predecessor Hiteswar Saikia, who was the Assam CM during 1991-1996, and also named Tezpur’s Bhupen Bora as the first victim to be kidnapped and killed.