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Ex-Govt. officer and victim of Kokrajhar ethnic riot writes to NHRC

In his detailed complaint to the statutory rights body, the victim who is now in a relief camp has alleged discrimination in and communalisation of rehabilitation programs

By TCN staff reporter,

New Delhi: Anowar Hussain, a retired government officer and a refugee of Kokrajhar ethnic riots, has written to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) alleging politicisation and communalisation of rehabilitation programmes in Assam.

In a letter dated, October 1, 2012, a copy of which is with TCN, Hussain alleges, “Most of the Bodo families are rehabilitated/ allowed to go to their respective places including those living in Reserve Forest… For Muslim refugees the BTC and the State Government are demanding them to prove their citizenship and to prove their land rights.”
Bodos are not asked to show their Indian citizenship and nor asked to prove their land rights, he alleged.

Referring to the Indian Government sponsored baseline survey of Minority Concentrated Districts of Kokrajhar District (http://www.icssr.org/Kokrajhar.pdf), undertaken by Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development, Hussain highlights the fact that “landlessness is more prominent among the Muslims households” (P.25).

In the July-August ethnic riots this year about 80 people lost their lives and about 4, 85,921 affected people moved to relief camps. According to Hussain, still about 1, 84,488 people are languishing in camps, most of whom are Muslims.

Most of the refugees / relief camps are in schools with bare minimum facilities. Conditions of sanitation, toilets, hygiene, privacy, health, education are deplorable. Promises by the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Chief Minister of relief packages, security and generous compensation have ‘regrettably proved to be false and betrayal,’ the letter alleges.

Muslim inmates at the relief camp, Bhotgaon,Kokrajhar

Hussain has further alleged ‘hate campaigns’ by the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), double standards and violations of Article 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India by the Government of Assam, which guarantee equality before law and prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, respectively.

He has hence pleaded to the Chairman of the NHRC to enforce the rule of law in the state of Assam especially in the Bodoland Territorial Council Area, and refugees be allowed to go to their respective places under proper security cover.

Hussain has further pleaded: “The ongoing economic boycott against Muslims in different parts of Kokrajhar should be thoroughly enquired and stern action be taken against the accused and officials for their omissions.”

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