By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 9: After containing the ethnic violence in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD), the State government is now grappling with another major problem – rehabilitation of about 2.5 lakh victims mostly belonging to the minority community now lodged at different relief camps in BTAD.
Though the government has claimed that it would rehabilitate all the violence victims in their original places of stay, the process of rehabilitation will not be an easy affair and it will throw a serious challenge to the State government which has decided to rehabilitate around 11,000 people in the first phase after proper screening.
Sources said out of 2.5 lakh refugees in the BTAD relief camps, around 1 lakh refugees might somehow provide necessary land related documents. “But what will the government do with the rest of 1.5 lakh refugees if they can’t provide the necessary land documents?” sources questioned.
What will the government do with the 1.5 lakh refugees who don’t possess land documents?
On this issue, the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) administration has already made its stand clear. The BTC administration has stated that it would not allow the rehabilitation of people, who don’t have valid land related documents, in BTAD. Joining the chorus, All Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU) advisor and Chilarai Sena chairman Biswajit Rai stated that no doubtful citizens would be rehabilitated in Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara districts as these areas fall under the proposed Kamatapur State.
Leave aside the rehabilitation of the BTAD violence victims. The State government is yet to rehabilitate many of the Barpeta clash victims who have been languishing in relief camps in the district since 1994. The government has so far failed to find land or other alternative places for rehabilitating the Barpeta clash victims. The government has still been bearing the expenditure to run these relief camps in Barpeta district.
A minority leader on the condition of anonymity said many people lodged in BTAD relief camps are the victims of land erosion besides the ethnic violence and many of them have lost all their belongings in land erosion and ethnic violence. “How will these people provide their land related documents at the time of verification?” he added.
So, the onus ultimately falls on the State government which needs to take utmost care while rehabilitating the BTAD violence victims.