Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal hit out at his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee today, saying there was an "evil design" in her remarks and sending a TMC team to the north-eastern state to destabilise the NRC process. He thanked the people of Barak Valley for the "exemplary composure" they exhibited, without falling prey to the "divisive design of the external forces", an official release issued by the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said. Sonowal also condemned the alleged move of the external forces to vitiate the peaceful environment in Assam in the name of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the release added. "Sonowal hailed the restraint and patience shown by the people of Assam, more particularly the residents of Barak Valley, in view of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's inflammatory remarks and her decision of sending a delegation to Barak Valley with an evil design to polarise the society," it said. The chief minister also said since the beginning of updating the NRC, some vested interests were hell-bent on destabilising the process by making remarks inimical to the age-old unity prevailing among the people of the Barak and Brahmaputra valleys, the hills and the plains. He added that "in spite of all evil intentions", the people of Assam showed "remarkable composure" and strengthened the friendship and camaraderie among themselves. Sonowal thanked the Bengali-speaking people of the state and different organisations spread across Assam for "unequivocally" registering their protests against the West Bengal chief minister's "plan of polarising the state". "Assam is a land known for its unity since ages. People belonging to different castes, communities, creed and religions symbolise this unity which is unique. Though several attempts were made to disturb this unity, the people of Assam showed resilience and reinforced the state's unity," he added. The people of the Barak and Brahmaputra valleys, the hills and the plains of the state will never be misled by such "evil design", Sonowal asserted.