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Sense of security elusive in trouble-torn Kokrajhar

The Kokrajhar administration claims that the victims of recent clashes in the district are no longer feeling insecure. But the victims tell a different story.

Talking to this correspondent, who visited the district on Saturday with a team of Government employees with relief materials, Kokrajhar Deputy Commissioner Jayant Narlikar said many victims had already returned home. On State Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s public promise that the victims’ return would be complete by August 15, Narlikar was ambiguous in his reply. He said: “What the CM Sir has actually meant is an emphasis on accelerating their return.”

But the victims don’t buy this view. Inmates in Rupnath Brahma Memorial High School Relief Camp at Gambari Bil, Gosaigaon, are still in grip of the chilling fear that drove them to the camp. Same is the case with inmates in Bhotgaon High School camp at Jaipur. They told this correspondent with tears rolling down their cheeks, that they felt they would never be able to go back to the hearth and home they had been forced to leave.
Authorities have made necessary arrangements for smooth functioning of the camps. But toilet facilities for more than two thousand three hundred inmates in the Gambari Bil camp and more than four thousand three hundred inmates in the Bhotgaon High School camp are grossly inadequate. Food is in good supply, at least for now, said Sikendra Nath Brahma, in-charge of the Gambari Bil camp. “There’s enough of rice, dal, salt and other essentials, but not edible oil, the cooking medium, not even a drop,” he said. Drinking water and health check-up facilities are there.

Partha Gogoi, Regional Director, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, who visited the Gambari camp the same day, claimed that medical needs of all the camp inmates were being properly taken care of. Pressed into service was a team of 34 doctors, he added.

But the million-dollar question is, when will the victims be able to return home and resume their normal day-to-day life. Neither the victims nor the district administration has a clear-cut answer. And now comes the news that the Chief Minister has constituted a Group of Ministers to monitor the situation in BTAD, which means even the State administration is chasing the answer and not able to find it.

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A Guwahati Doordarshan team on Saturday visited two relief camps in the violence-hit Kokrajhar district, distributed relief materials among the inmates and expressed solidarity with them. Debendra Nath Basumatary, Deputy Director General, programme, Doordarshan Kendra, Guwahati, led a team of DDK employees to the trouble-hit Kokrajhar district of Assam, where they visited two relief camps. The first visit was to Rupnath Brahma Memorial High School camp at Gambari Bil. The camp inmates were Bodos. Explaining the reason behind the visit, Basumatary said a sense of fellow-feelings and humanity had brought the team near the people who suffered. The team also had a mission to promote a sprit...