United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi said here on Monday that inmates of relief camps in Kokrajhar and nearby districts wanted to return home, but it might take a little while for the situation to become a little calmer. She assured the inmates that the government would make sure that they were able to return to their homes.
“Naturally all refugees want to go back home,” she told journalists after visiting a relief camp at Titaguri in Kokrajhar district. “Once feelings are assuaged, the Chief Minister and others will make sure that the inmates are able to go home.”
The death toll in the violence in Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Chirang and Bongaigaon districts has gone up to 78 with gunmen killing a migrant construction worker from West Bengal and injuring two others at Datgiri market near India-Bhutan border in Chirang district on Monday.
Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) L.R. Bisnoi told The Hindu that the incident occurred around 3.30 p.m when a group of workers were returning from their work in Bhutan's border town Gelephu. The injured were admitted to the Bongaigaon Civil Hospital. .
Ms. Gandhi said people in the relief camp told her that they were getting ration regularly. Two children were unwell and a doctor was treating them. Later, she visited a camp at Debargaon in Kokrajhar district and interacted with the inmates.
About 1.6 lakh displaced people have so far returned to their homes while over three lakh are still taking shelter in camps.
Ms. Gandhi was accompanied by Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and PCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita. In Dhubri, Ms. Gandhi and Mr. Shinde visited two relief camps. Ms. Gandhi underlined need to decongest the camps and provide more food for children.
Meanwhile, members of the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) burnt effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mr. Shinde, Mr. Gogoi, Assam Accord Implementaion Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma across the State to protest against the “non- implementation of the Assam Accord.”