A Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) delegation has rushed to New Delhi to call on Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and place the Council’s demand that no inmate from the relief camps in the four violence-hit districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Dhubri and Bongaigaon should be rehabilitated without getting his/her credentials ascertained.
BTC Deputy Chief Executive Member Khampa Boragoyari told The Hindu that the Council delegation — led by its Chief Executive member Hagrama Mahilary — would be placing the demand of rehabilitating only those who possess land certificates, and have their names in the voters’ list in the first phase of rehabilitation, before the Union Home Minister.
“Those inmates of relief camps who don’t have land certificates but have their names in the voters’ list should be kept in the relief camp for now, while those inmates, who neither possess land certificates nor have their names in the voters’ list, shouldn’t be rehabilitated in areas under BTC. We have already conveyed this stand of the Council to the State government,” he said. The BTC was apprehensive regarding “outsiders” being brought in to the BTC areas during rehabilitation.
Seven Bodo organisations, which met in Kokrajhar on Sunday, have also asked the State government to segregate all the inmates in the relief camps on the basis of possession of land certificates and inclusion of names in the voters’ list. All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU) general secretary Jiron Basumatary said the Bodo organisations had demanded that before rehabilitation the camp inmates should be segregated into three categories — the first category should be of those who possess land certificates and have their names in the voters list, the second category comprising those who don’t possess land certificates but have their names in the voters’ list and the third category of those who neither possess land certificates nor have their names in the voters’ list.
The six other organisations which joined the ABSU in making this demand are the Bodo Sahitya Sabha, the All Bodo Women’s Welfare Federation, the All Bodo Employees’ Federation, the All Bodo Writers’ Association, the All Bodo Primary Teachers’ Association (ABPTA) and the Dularai Bodo Harimu Afat.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday directed deputy commissioners of the four violence-hit districts to immediately decongest the relief camps and open new camps to prevent major disease outbreaks. No fresh incident was reported from the four districts since four bodies were recovered from Kokrajhar and Chirang on Sunday. Security forces have rounded up 55 alleged miscreants in Chirang during the past 24 hours. The State government has set August 15 as the deadline for the rehabilitation of inmates in the relief camps.
An official release issued by the State Home Department stated that so far 95 relief camps have been closed down in the four districts and approximately 1,15,000 people have returned to their villages. Till August 3, almost 4.45 lakh people, including 3.14 lakh Muslims and 1.31 lakh Bodos approximately, were staying in the 277 relief camps.
Mr. Gogoi instructed the Public Health Engineering Secretary to construct one latrine for every 100 camp inmates and install one water pump for every 250 inmates. He also directed health officials to open separate camp for pregnant and lactating women.