Assam violence victims refuse to bury dead, demand justice
People in two Assam villages have refused to bury those killed in violence unleashed by suspected National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) militants since Thursday, until the chief minister assures them justice. At least 28 people have been killed.
People in Narayanguri and Khagrabari villages, close to the Manas National Park in Baksa district of northern Assam, said they would not bury thir dead until Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi personally visits the area and assures them of justice and adequate compensation.
The two villages in Baksa district bore the maximum brunt of the violence.
"We are going to wait till the chief minister personally comes and assures us to protect our lives. We also demand Rs.20 lakh each in compensation to the families of those killed and Rs.10 lakh each to those who received serious injuries during the violence," said Rahmat Ali, a resident of Khagrabari village in Baksa.
Sources in the Chief Ministers' Office here said Gogoi is not scheduled to visit the Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts (BTAD).
However, senior cabinet colleague and state agricultural minister Nilamoni Sen Deka has been camping in BTAD to monitor the situation.
Assam Home Commissioner G.D. Tripathy said no fresh incidents of violence have been reported since Saturday evening, and the situation is now under control.
A curfew has been imposed in Kokrajhar, Baksa and Chirang districts of the BTAD since Friday evening and will continue with a few hours' relaxation.
There are also reports of large-scale migration of people to safer areas. Many people are fleeing to adjoining areas, fearing more violence by the militants.
"We have suffered enough during the 2012 violence. We have lost houses, family, cattle and all that we used to have during the violence two years back. The violence has started again, we have to leave again," said Aminul Haque, a resident of Teteliguri village, located 30 km from Kokrajhar town.
Haque and fellow villagers witnessed worst ever violence between the Bengali speaking Muslims and Bodos during the 2012 riots.
The villagers of Teteliguri village were living in relief camps since 2012 till March last year, when the administration rehabilitated them back in their villages.
Aminul received Rs.57,000 in two instalments as compensation for the 2012 riots.
"Government had assured that we all would be adequately compensated. I have lost my house, belongings, cattle and everything. You tell me whether Rs.57,000 is sufficient to start my life?" he said.
(Posted on 04-05-2014)