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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Assam violence victims await relief

The recent spurt of violence in Assam may have been controlled for the time being, but with over a lakh of people displaced, it is a bigger challenge now to send them back home.

More than 500 houses have been destroyed in the communal clash in Assam's Darrang and Odalguri districts.

"If the administration doesn't take any steps, this will only keep spreading. We want to go back, we have our home and land but if the situation doesn't improve, how do we return?" said Hanif, a relief camp inmate.

Along with houses, people have lost their occupation. Angry students are asking who will compensate for their loss of academic session?(Watch)

"How will be stay on here? Our houses have been burnt. I'm a student, I had examination from the 11th, what will happen to me now? What's my future, can you give that back to me?" said a student at the camp.

Assam's rehabilitation policy of internally displaced people has been abysmally poor. Adivasis, who were pushed to relief camps in Kokrajhar during the 1996 Bodo-Adivasi riots, are yet to rehabilitated. Bengali immigrant Muslims, also victims of Bodo-Muslim riots, have been waiting to return home since the last fifteen years.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi himself is not hopeful for an early rehabilitation of the victims of the recent violence.

"It is the duty of every government to provide security and bring back their confidence so that they can go back to their respective villages. But immediately, I don't think that it will be possible to send them back. Fear, psychosis and sense of insecurity are there for sure," said Gogoi.

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