Chief Minister Manik Sarkar today visited the Reang refugee camp, a day after the devastating fire which charred to death 16 inmates and injured 30 others at Kanchanpur in North Tripura district.
Sarkar, accompanied by the Director General of Police Selim Ali and State Social Welfare Minister Bijita Nath, interacted with the injured Reang refugees from Mizoram and consoled the bereaved families.
Later the Chief Minister held a meeting with officials of the North Tripura district administration at Kanchanpur Dak-Bungalow and ordered for distribution of relief on war footing.
The fire, sources said yesterday, might have broken out from an oven in the camp and the fire devastated 90 per cent of the camp area.
Of the total six evacuee camps in Kanchanpur, Naisingpara is the largest camp, where 19,743 people of 3014 families are huddled, they said, adding many pigs, goats and poultry were also gutted.
A visibly disturbed Satyabati Reang (35), who lived with her sister Fulbati (25) for more than a decade in the camp, said she could not trace her sister while fleeing.
The fire fighters later recovered the charred body of Ms. Fulbati.
“Things happened so fast and the smell of smokes were so pungent and the heat so overbearing that I had to flee from the camp without looking for my sister,” Ms. Satyabati told a team of visiting journalists.
While with the recovery of one more charred body, the death toll went up to 16. Out of the 30 injured, six were airlifted to Agartala Medical College from Kanchanpur Hospital in North Tripura district and their condition was stated to be critical.
More than 35,000 Reang/Bru refugees are now sheltered in six camps in Kanchanpur sub-division of the district, having migrated from neighbouring Mizoram following ethnic clashes with Mizos since 1997.