50,000 civilians displaced, 12 killed

The Indian Red Cross Society, Assam State Branch, in collaboration with the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), on Friday distributed relief kits containing emergency goods acquired by the ICRC to 360 families who were displaced during the recent Garo-Rabha ethnic clashes along Assam-Meghalaya border.

Each kit contains a kitchen set, two blankets, two tarpaulins, a large jerry can and cleaning and bathing soap.

Deputy Head of Regional Delegation, ICRC, New Delhi, Yahia Alibi and chairman, Indian Red Cross Society, Assam State Branch, Renuka Devi Barkataki were present during the first phase of the relief distribution programme launched at the Kukurkata Relief Camp.

The clashes caused the displacement of about 50,000 civilians and claimed 12 lives.

In response to the violence, the Assam and Meghalaya branches of the Indian Red Cross Society started distributing emergency goods acquired by the ICRC, said a release issued by Chandan Chutia of the Assam Branch of the Indian Red Cross.

Focus on 2000 families

“Our aid is focused on 10,000 people — approximately 2,000 families — who lost all their belongings, including their homes, in Assam and Meghalaya. Displaced communities found shelter in transitory makeshift camps, where they are now facing a difficult situation due to lack of suitable facilities and poor hygiene conditions,” said Ms. Barkataki in her inaugural speech.

She said the Assam State Branch of the Indian Red Cross Society made an assessment immediately after the incident and found that the affected people were facing the dearth of warm clothes, utensils and some other basic needs.

‘Happy to help'

“We feel very happy to help the people here and we have been working for people like you in various countries of the world,” said Yahia Alibi, Deputy Head of the Regional Delegation, ICRC, New Delhi, He also mentioned that the ICRC worked around the world on an impartial basis to protect and assisted people adversely affected by armed conflicts, internal disturbances and other situations of violence.

The ICRC has had a permanent presence in India since 1982.