21 Jan 2011 - 10:14pm | Daya Nath Singh
The Asian Centre for Human Rights in a briefing to media persons at Guwahati Press Club on Friday, alleged that about fifty thousand Garos and Rabhas displaced by conflict since January 1, 2011, are being discriminated in terms of relief and rehabilitation in comparison to assistance being provided to the Kashmiri Pandits and Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, by the Government of India.
Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights, Suhas Chakma said, in terms of rations at the relief camps at Jammu and in Delhi, Kashmiri internally displaced persons are given Rs.1,000 per head per month subject to maximum of Rs.4,000 per family per month plus dry ration. The Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India are provided cash dole of Rs.400 per head of family, Rs.288 for each additional member who is 12 year old, Rs.180 per first child (below 12 years) and Rs 90 to each of additional children per month. Further, they are provided 400 grams per adult and 200 grams per child per day at the subsidized rate of Rs.057 per kilogram.
However, the displaced Rabhas and Garos are not being given any regular assistance. On January 19 last, one Monitha Rabha, a mother of three children, died of starvation at Kahmari Primary School medical camp, he said.
ACHR director further said that in terms of rehabilitation, the Government of India is building 50,000 houses for Sri Lankan Tamils displaced in Sri Lanka and has sanctioned Rs.500 crore for this purpose. Under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction for Jammu and Kashmir, the Ministry of Home Affairs undertook massive programme of housing for the Kashmiri Pandits. That included construction of 200 flats at Sheikpura in Budgam at an expenditure of Rs.22.90 crore, construction of 5242 two-roomed tenements at Jammu at an expenditure of Rs.345, 00 crore, construction of 18 three-roomed flats at Mattan at an expenditure of Rs.1.08 crore and construction of 100 one-roomed tenements and renovation work such as Yatri Niwas, Rain shelters, fencing of shrine, etc, have been done and completed at an expenditure of Rs.7.30 crore at Kheer Bhavani. In Delhi, the Delhi Development Authority, a Central Government Agency had provided expandable flats to 234 Kashmiri IDP families at subsidised rates.
The Rabhas and Garos are being provided only 3 bundles of tin roof sheets and Rs.10, 000, which is highly discriminatory. Even the Brus from Mizoram are being provided Rs.80, 000 cash including housing assistance under Indira Awas Yojana, said Chakma.
He further said that Government of Assam has not sought any rehabilitation grant from the Ministry of Home Affairs for those displaced in the North Cachar Hills in 2009,
The ACHR director stated that the discrimination against the Rabhas and Garos displaced persons will be taken up with the state governments and the Centre and other appropriate forums.