REFUGEES IN THEIR OWN HOME
Villagers in one of the relief camps in Assam
NEW DELHI: While the security forces arrested one cadre of NDFB (S) and four other linkmen Monday night in connection with the massacre by the Bodo militants, over two lakh people continue to live as refugees in their own state.
Thousands of villagers, both from the Adivasi and Bodo communities, are living in constant fear and taking shelter in the 136 relief camps set up in the four affected districts. Even the official figures claim that 1.76.440 people are residing in relief camps, though the real figures are certainly much higher.
Additionally, hundreds of Bodos and tribal tea workers staying as refugees in the neighbouring states of Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal respectively also refuse to come back despite assurances given by the Chief Minister.
Amid claims by the state government regarding the satisfactory condition of the relief camps, opposition parties like AGP, CPI(M), CPI, NCP, CPI (ML) and United Peoples Front alleged that many persons in a number of relief camps have not received any relief materials like foods, medicines and blankets.
As if the violence and the displacement weren’t enough, there is also an increasing worry of trafficking of women and children staying at the relief camps. CID Superintendent of Police Violet Baruah informed Telegraph India that they have alerted NGOs in the violence-hit districts to prevent trafficking of women and children, including those living in relief camps.
“Many women and children affected by violence, who were earlier rescued from outside the region, were either lured with the promise of food, education or jobs," she said.
Alongside, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has directed Home Secretary Anil Goswami to look into the reports of facilities in relief camps in Assam.
Meanwhile,a joint team of the Army, police and CRPF on Monday arrested a cadre of NDFB (S) and four linkmen in connection with the carnage last week by Bodo militants which eventually led to the death of 81 people.
While the cadre and two linkmen were arrested in Kokrajhar district, two other linkmen were nabbed from Sonitpur last night.
"In Kokrajhar district, three people were arrested from the inter-state border at Srirampur when they were trying to enter West Bengal in a car," Bodoland Territorial Area Districts Inspector General of Police L R Bishnoi told PTI.
In another development with respect to the violence in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh on Monday imposed restrictions on civilian movement along the border with Assam following launch of counter-insurgency operations by the security forces against NDFB(S) militants.
Also, a strong message was sent by the people of the Bodo community to the Bodo militants.
In addition to protests by various organisations against the mercilessly mowing down of the innocent villagers by the NDFB (S) militants, Bodo groups yesterday warned militants outfits against the killings, urging the Centre to take strict action against the anti-talk Songbijit faction of the NDFB.
Hundreds of people staged a protest, organised by the Bodo Sahitya Sabha, near the deputy commissioner's office in Kokrajhar district. The protest was supported by Bodo organisations like the All Bodo Students Union, All Bodo Women's Welfare Federation, All Assam Tribal Sangha, Tribal Youth League, All Bodo Employees Federation and the Dularai Bodo Harimu Afad.