Other States

Teenager escaped Assam landslide by defying father

Shalom Uddin Laskar chose to ignore his father’s advice to stay back a few more days at their house in Assam’s Kanakpur village. A landslide claimed the lives of seven members of his family, a day after he left for Silchar, the headquarters of Cachar district about 2 hours’ drive away.

The 18-year-old Shalom needed to get his job back or find another. He had started out as a conductor on a private bus a few months before the COVID-19 lockdown forced him to stay home.

“He survived by defying his father,” said Ainuddin Barbhuiya, an uncle who lives at a nearby hamlet. “His mother, my sister Taibunnesa, survived after she was scooped out of the debris and treated at the hospital. But he is a shattered boy; he blames himself because his father died the only time he did not listen to him,” Mr. Barbhuiya added.

Apart from his 45-year-old father Tajim Uddin Laskar, Shalom was attached to his youngest sibling Rehim Uddin, 8.

“We have received a cheque of ₹28 lakh from the government. I hope my nephew and my sister start life afresh and are able to live in a safer place,” said Mr. Barbhuiya, an automobile mechanic.

“The Chief Minister (Sarbananda Sonowal) is coming tomorrow (Thursday) to take stock of the situation here,” Cachar’s Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli said.

As the kin of the 21 people killed by a series of landslides in southern Assam’s Barak Valley on Tuesday picked up the pieces, fresh landslips were reported from four villages of the adjoining Dima Hasao district on Wednesday. District officials said 80 people had been affected as falling earth and boulders damaged 25 houses.

No casualty was reported.

Incessant rainfall, however, claimed the life of a 17-year-old who drowned in the Lakhipur area of Cachar district, not far from where a landslide had killed the seven members of Shalom’s family.

Another person drowned in Lakhipur area of western Assam’s Goalpara district as the water level of the rivers rose after three successive days of subsiding. Assam State Disaster Management Authority officials said 11 people had drowned so far since the last week of May.

According to an official update four districts — Cachar, Goalpara, Hojai and Nagaon — are currently affected by floods with 1.44 lakh people displaced and 2,913 of them accommodated in relief camps.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 9:19:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/teenager-escaped-assam-landslide-by-defying-father/article31744268.ece

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