More than 1300 riot affected families from BTAD are yet to be rehabilitated

By Staff Reporter,

Guwahati: Even as Assam government has admitted that over 1,300 families, who were affected during the ethnic clashes in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) in 2012, were yet to be rehabilitated, several organizations and representatives of the civil society have expressed their anger at the negligence of the government.

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In a written reply to the Assam Legislative Assembly during the budget session, state revenue and disaster management minister Prithibi Majhi said that a total of 18,823 families lost their houses completely, while 999 houses were partially damaged.

Riot affected people from BTAD during their one of the protests in Guwahati recently.

“This is what the reality is. We have been urging the state government to do all the necessary action so that the effected people can be rehabilitated. But they were numb. The surprising thing is that they have not doing anything in spite of knowing the reality,” Hafiz Ahmed, president of Char Sapori Sahitya Parishad, a literary body of the state told

Till now, 1,327 families are yet to be rehabilitated. Necessary instructions have already been given to respective Deputy Commissioner’s to take steps to rehabilitate them, minister Majhi had said. Of the completely affected families, 15,983 have received a financial assistance of Rs 22,700 from the state government along with three bundles of roof-shed (tin), while the Centre gave Rs 30,000 to each household from the Prime Minister’s relief fund, according to the government record.

Hafiz Ahmed, who had written to Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi several times seeking proper action for the rehabilitation of the effected people, further said that riot effected people in other states of the country are be handled in a better way than Assam.

“We have realized that the riot effected people could have been handled in a better than this. Even during the winters, there was no body to ask these people about their plight. Even the opposition political parties did not feel once to go to see these people or they even never raised any issues on behalf of these people,” Ahmed added.

The Central and state government gave Rs 20,000 separately to all of the 999 owners of partially damaged houses. Besides, 1,507 families whose houses were completely destroyed during the clashes were also provided with Rs 50,000.

Clashes between Bodos and Muslims in July-August 2012 had claimed more than 100 lives and displaced several lakh people in several districts of western Assam.

“The people in the BTAD area are suffering from a lot of problems. There is no safety and security of lives and properties. Youths are still being kidnapped. A section of anti-social elements are doing their jobs like extortion freely making the common people’s life hell. We need a solution to all these problems. The state government should have felt ashamed to declare such deplorable condition. They should have worked to rectify the things,” said Jamsher Ali, president of BTAD Citizen Rights Forum.

Meanwhile, All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) slammed the state revenue and disaster management minister Prithibi Majhi for giving wrong facts and misleading people. The students’ body even said that Majhi does not possess the quality to be at the position.

“It’s an insult to the riot affected people. At first he has told a lie. The number of families should be 2500 instead of 1300. He has never gone to the places to sense the pain of the people. The state government has never paid any heed for the problems,” said Rezaul Karim Sarkar, general secretary of AAMSU.