Protests, bandhs lowering investments in Assam: Patowary

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Rs 51,600 cr investments being implemented in the state

By: Upasana Bharadwaj

GUWAHATI, Feb 7: The recent series of protests in Assam over various issues are making the investors apprehensive of the social peace in the state, Assam industry and commerce minister Chandra Mohan Patowary informed the state assembly on Thursday.

Replying to a question from Congress MLA Abdul Khaleque, Patowary said many companies have talked to him about the protests. The agitations are making the investors apprehensive. “If we cannot stop that, no investment will come. I strongly register this in the House,” the minister said.

“The investors do not want to invest in an unrest state like Assam,” the minister said and added, “We hope more investors would come and invest in the state, but they are likely to invest after protests across Assam.”

During organising the ‘Advantage Assam’ global investors’ summit in Guwahati last year, a total of Rs 41.66 crore were spent, he said.

“In the summit, investors from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Cambodia, Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, England, America, the UAE and Vietnam took part apart from India,” Patowary said.

Investments to the tune of Rs 51,600 crore are at various stages of implementation by different corporate houses across Assam, he said.

Patowary said works for 55 projects worth Rs 23,269.48 crore have already begun at different places. Another investment of Rs 28,334.65 crore by 15 corporates of diverse segments are in the pipeline, he added.

 

Will not tolerate bid to create communal tension

Replying to another question from AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam, Patowary informed that it would not tolerate efforts to create communal disturbance in the state and assured the members of maintaining peace at any cost.

Islam had alleged that 8-10 people of Dhing constituency have been trying to create communal tension by various means such as throwing meat inside a temple and abusing Muslims for this.

“Because of our initiative with the local police, nothing untoward has happened yet. People are also very sensitive and tolerant. But you never know when something wrong may take place. So, I request the government to take strict action against those people,” Islam added.

The minister said the home department is keeping a strict vigil in this direction after AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam alleged that attempts are on to engineer a communal riot in the state.

“If anyone tries to disturb the peace of Assam, we will not tolerate it. We are taking all precautions to avoid any untoward incident,” Patowary said.

He said Assam did not witness any Hindu-Muslim clash even after the demolition of the Babri Masjid when communal riots took place in many states. “It is our responsibility to maintain peace. We assure you that it (riots) will never take place. It is the land of Sankardeva and Aajan Fakir,” the minister said.

Patowary said Dhing police station has already registered a case and a probe is on to nab the culprits.

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