A WEEK WITHOUT VIOLENCE IN ASSAM, SOME 'REFUGEES' RETURN HOME
NEW DELHI: With no untoward incident having been occurred for almost a week and numerous efforts by various organisations, the violence-hit districts in Assam are limping back to normalcy.
The number of relief camps as well as the camp inmates have continued to decrease since January 1.
The number of villagers taking shelter in the relief camps, which had climbed to around 3 lakh have now been reduced to 2.70.360, according to an official release by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA).
Although the difference in the statistics is not huge, but what is noteworthy is the fact that the people have started refuting the rumors and the fear levels are less.
According to the release by ASDMA, presently, 2.70.370 persons are staying in 135 relief camps in Kokrajhar, Sonitpur, Chirang and Udalguri districts at this moment.
“The number of relief camps and camp inmates have come down during the past 24 hours owing to the improvement in the security scenario,” it said.
Even though violence had been controlled in the affected districts, the villagers were living under constant fear after the mowing down of innocent Adivasis by the anti-talk Songbijit faction of NDFB on December 23.
The fear and rumors doing the rounds compelled the locals-both Adivasis and Bodos to flee their homes and become refugees in their own homes by taking shelter in relief camps.
However, the situation appears to be improving albeit only at a snail’s pace.
Meanwhile, various groups and organisations are carrying out “peace talks” and visiting the relief camps to instill confidence amongst the camp inmates and asking them to leave the camps and return to their homes.
The goodwill mission of 26 organisations, led by the AASU, visited relief camps, set up in the aftermath of the recent carnage by NDFB(S) militants, and interacted with the inmates on Wednesday. The organisations vowed to work for peace and restoration of the age-old brotherhood among the Bodos and Adivasis.
Alongside, three-member team from the Assam State Legal Services Authority also visited the violence-hit area and met the inmates of relief camps in Sonitpur district on Wednesday. The team comprising Mridul Kumar Saikia, Member Secretary of the Assam State Legal Services Authority, Sudam Das, Additional District and Sessions judge and advocate Ranjana Chakrabarty first visited the Shanti-Bargaon LP School relief camps at Batachipur where nearly 400 inmates have been taking shelter.
It is pertinent to mention here that these teams and organisations are separate from the government and have not been sent at the behest of any government department or official.
On the other hand, the government and its officials organised a meeting amongst themselves to find measures which would help them convince the relief camp inmates to return to their villages.
The Principal Secretary, AR&T, Education, Government of Assam, and the in-charge of the relief operations in Kokrajhar district, Rajiv Kumar Bora held a meeting with the DC and SP of Kokrajhar and the IGP of BTAD at the Kokrajhar DC’s conference hall here on Monday.
The meeting, also attended by Kokrajhar (East) MLA Pramila Rani Brahma, Kokrajhar (West) MLA Pradip Brahma, Gossaigaon MLA Majendra Narzary, BTC EM Derhasat Basumatary and other officers of the district administration of Kokrajhar, discussed the modus operandi to facilitate the return of the inmates staying in different relief camps in the district to their respective villages.
Additionally, the Army is also trying its best to instill confidence among the people and restoring peace through its “Operation All Out” which was launched against the NDFB(S) militants.