By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, January 13: As the rest of the State readies for the Magh Bihu festivities, there is a pall of gloom among the inmates of 54 relief camps in the State set up after the Assam–galand border flare–up and the recent carge.
The 77,000 inmates look shocked and sad on the eve of the festival, which otherwise would have been an occasion of great joy.
Last year, their villages were bustling with activities this time around. But this year, these violence–affected people are without a roof and are having to spend their days with idequate meals and essentials of life. They hope no miraculous arrival of sufficient food supplies and happiness for them in the near future.
There are 1,102 inmates in four relief camps at Uriamghat in Golaghat. They were set up after rampaging ga miscreants attacked their villages, killing several people in August last year.
Fifty relief camps in BTAD are sheltering 76,801 inmates, rendered homeless by marauding Bodo militants who massacres 81 people on December 23 last. The majority – 56,992 of them – are in the 37 camps in Kokrajhar district.
Though the relief camps at Sonitpur district have closed down, around 800 people, who houses were burnt down by miscreants, are now living in make–shift tents at their villages alongside the Borgang River.
“There is no Bihu for us this time. The paddy stacks of the villagers were also burnt down along with the houses during the violence. How will we celebrate? Now that we are not in the relief camp, we have also stopped getting the government–supply ration. Our only concern now is to get two meals a day,” says Mahiram Basumatary, a school teacher of Gojenpur village of Biswath Chariali.
“The government had announced Rs 50,000 for those whose house have been totally torched and Rs 20,000 for partially damaged ones. But the administration is releasing the fund through bank accounts. Most of the villagers do have a bank account and so they are uble to get the money,” he rues.
People of these 13 villages had fled to Aruchal Pradesh after the violence. However, the Sonitpur administration brought them back on December 30 last.
Some organizations are proving aid to the relief camp inmates, but there is little joy and reason ffor them to celebrate this harvest festival. The bloodshed still haunts them.