New Delhi: Condemning as "unacceptable" the ethnic violence in Assam, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday said no government can ignore such "treacherous activities" and pitched for "strictest possible action" against those who targeted people from the northeast.

Addressing a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP), she termed as "unacceptable" the "painful" targeting of people from northeast in Mumbai, Bengaluru and in other parts of the country in the wake of the Assam violence.

"The strictest possible action must be taken against those who deliberately seek to divide us, incite and provoke people by their incendiary speeches and aggressive actions," Gandhi said.

Noting that such persons have misused the social media for their hate-mongering, causing havoc and spreading mass panic, the Congress President said, "No government can stand by and ignore such treacherous activities".

At a time when the Assam violence has courted a political controversy with the BJP seeking to portray it as an inhabitant versus foreigner issue, Gandhi said, "This is not the time for partisan finger pointing. The immediate need is for healing wounds and bringing about reconciliation among the communities that have been hurt so grievously."

She said that every effort should be made to ensure that people still living in camps return to their homes as quickly as possible.

On the targeting of the North East people in other parts of the country, Gandhi said she was glad that the Lok Sabha spoke in one voice on their behalf.

"Like all our citizens, they have every constitutional rights to study, work and live in any part of our country with complete safety and security".

Describing the "traumatic" Assam violence as troublesome for those who cherish the society's age old traditions of tolerance, amity and harmony, she noted, "In the midst of this horrific tragedy, there have been heart-warming instances when neighbours have helped and saved each other cutting across ethnic and religious identities."


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