ASSAM 'REFUGEES' SET TO CROSS THREE LAKHS, GOVT'S RELIEF TOTALLY INADEQUATE
Women at a relief camp
NEW DELHI: Numerous attempts by the state authorities and different organisations to instill confidence in the people and bring back normalcy in the four violence-affected districts are proving to be futile.
With three more relief camps ben added to the already existing 136, the number of people taking shelter in the total 139 camps set up in the Sonitpur, Kokrajhar, Chirang and Udalguri districts have touched almost 3 lakh as per official figures, albeit the real figures would be much higher.
As per a press release issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) yesterday, “around 2.86.270 persons are taking shelter in the 139 relief camps”.
Further, the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary are closely monitoring the situation closely, with senior State Government officers having been deputed to the districts to oversee relief operations and the camps.
Also, the Health and Family Welfare Department have deployed medical teams in the camps and the Public Health Engineering Department has arranged drinking water and sanitation facilities for the inmates, informed the communique by ASDMA.
However, the reality appears to be different from what the ASDMA claims it to be.
As per reports, many inmates have not been provided adequate relief materials as was pointed out by the opposition on Monday.This is particularly true for the Nokchamara relief camp which has not received relief materials, even after six days of the incident as the affected people are preventing the relief materials providers including the government agencies and the different NGOs from going to the camp, located in a remote area.
Additionally, a serious threat of trafficking of women and children from the camps is looming large.
Meanwhile, the state authorities and several organisations are striving towards bringing normalcy in the four affected districts.
While organisations like All Assam Student Union (AASU), All Bodo Students Union (ABSU), All Adivasi Student Association of Assam (AASAA) and Assam Tea Tribe Student Association (ATTSA) along with some media persons are trying to achieve the aim in the worst-hit Sonitpur district, a district-level “peace meeting” was convened by the district administration in Chirang.
The meeting, attended by all political and non- political organisations of the district, aimed at restoring normalcy through comprehensive talks and deliberation. The participating groups put forth various requests including adequate security, relief materials, medical facilities and potable drinking water facilities for the displaced people and the necessity of peace meetings at the affected areas.
Also, a group of 26 organisations, led by AASU would be visiting the violence-hit areas and the relief camps in Dhekiajuli and Biswanath Chariali and come up with a similar peace mission in the Sonitpur district as well.
Refusing to take the entire blame, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said that it was not the state failure, rather the massacre in Assam was a joint failure of Central and the State security agencies.
It is pertinent to mention here that the security agencies had prior information regarding the attacks by the NDFB(S) militants.
“We will initiate a judicial probe to identify the lapses on our part, if any, in checking the carnage and fix responsibility,” Gogoi said.
He added “the State agencies had received the inputs around 12 noon on the very day when violence first broke out and the Central input came around 3 pm. It was around 4 pm that militants first triggered violence”.
Further stating that the BJP was playing dirty politics, he said “ The BJP is trying to play dirty politics which is unfortunate. This is not the time to play dirty politics when human suffering is high”.
“It is known to everyone that the NDFB(S) militants supported a BJP candidate and a case was also registered. If there is any responsibility on our part, we will take full responsibility,” Gogoi added.