By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, January 2: With around 3 lakh people in relief camps, Assam had the highest conflict induced internally displaced people in the world in 2014, a human rights watchdog said today, alleging that the victims are reeling under humanitarian crisis.
The Asian Centre for Human Rights, in a brief report released today following field visit to the affected areas, stated that over 3,00,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Assam, who are the largest conflict induced IDPs of the world in 2014, are currently reeling under a man–made humanitarian crisis in 85 relief camps in four districts of Assam – Sonitpur, Kokrajhar, Udalguri and Chirang districts.
The displaced persons are mainly Adivasis and they had been fleeing following massacre of some 80 Adivasis by the Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland of Songbijit faction on December 23 in Sonitpur, Kokrajhar and Chirang districts of Assam.
"The State government of Assam has been hesitant to fully extend humanitarian assistance to all the displaced persons in order to prevent more displacement and reduce cost of rehabilitation," stated the ACHR.
A team of ACHR assisted by the Adivasi civil society organisations visited the affected areas on December 27 but the team had limited access as curfew was imposed in Sonitpur and Udalguri districts, and the police did not allow them to visit the interior places for security reasons. The team visited Jiagabharu High School Relief Camp, Hugrajuli Relief Camp and Tinisuti Relief Camp.
The inmates of all the camps had similar stories to tell – the State government failed to provide relief including warm clothes, baby food, safe drinking water and no provisions for pregnant women and lactating mothers while some food items were supplied by local public and organisations. Sanitation and hygiene are almost non–existent.
Asian Centre for Human Rights has recommended to the State Government of Assam to fully extend humanitarian assistance including access to adequate shelter, food, utensils, baby food, clothes, health care, water facility, toilets, etc to all the displaced persons irrespective of whether their villages were directly attacked or not by the NDFB(S); rehabilitate the displaced persons by providing adequate assistance such as housing assistance per family, food rations for six months; ensure that no relief camp is forcibly closed down and inmates are not forced to leave the relief camps; and provide security to the IDPs voluntarily willing to return to their villages with a clear programme of action including deployment of security forces to ensure non–repetition of such heinous attacks.