ANO

As­sam Chief Min­is­ter Tarun Go­goi vac­il­lates as fresh vi­o­lence strikes fear among refugees in re­lief camps

India Today - - THE BIG STORY -

WHILE REFUGEES AT RE­LIEF CAMPS SHOW NO IN­CLI­NA­TION TO RE­TURN TO THEIR HOMES, BO­DOS HAVE DE­MANDED THAT CRE­DEN­TIALS OFTHE IN­MATES BE VER­I­FIED.

eth­nic clashes. It wants re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion to pro­ceed in a phased man­ner. Khampa Bor­go­yari, the BTC deputy chief, says the coun­cil has passed a res­o­lu­tion that those who have land in the BTAD area should be re­ha­bil­i­tated im­me­di­ately in the first phase and those who do not have land but whose names ap­pear in the vot­ers’ lists should re­main in the re­lief camps till BTC and the state gov­ern­ment arrive at an agree­ment on their fate. He claims “il­le­gal im­mi­grants” could take ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion and in­fil­trate BTAD ar­eas. “Kokra­jhar dis­trict’s pop­u­la­tion, as per the 2011 Cen­sus, was around 1.03 mil­lion, of which 0.23 mil­lion were Mus­lims. Now more than 450,000 peo­ple are stay­ing in the re­lief camps in Kokra­jhar and Dhubri dis­tricts. Less than 50 per cent of the Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion in Kokra­jhar was af­fected by the clashes, it’s hard to be­lieve that Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion in­creased so sharply in a year,” he says.

Go­goi too ad­mits that there could be peo­ple from out­side the af­fected ar­eas in re­lief camps. “We have told the BTC lead­er­ship that there is no space for any il­le­gal mi­grants in the BTAD ar­eas. Only bonafide land own­ers will live in BTAD. We have records with us and we will go only by that,” he said.

The Chief Min­is­ter claims that the num­ber of re­lief camps has shrunk to 242 from 278 and about 116,000 in­mates have re­turned home. But there are still 350,960 peo­ple in the re­main­ing camps. Worse, peo­ple who had left the camps to re­turn to their na­tive vil­lages are now turn­ing back to the camps in droves fol­low­ing fresh vi­o­lence in Kokra­jhar and Chi­rang.

Pho­to­graphs by AP

( LEFT) ACHILD ATARELIEF CAMP IN BHOT­GAON ON JULY 25; BO­DOS ATA

CAMP IN KOKRA­JHAR ON JULY 28

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