[Secular Perspective] An Appeal from Concerned Citizens of Assam
An Appeal from Concerned Citizens of Assam
Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
South Block, Raisina Hill,
Smt. Sonia Gandhi
Respected Dr. Manmohan Singh
We the concerned citizens of Assam, wish to bring to your kind notice the continuing disturbed situation in Assam, post the violence of July, 2012. We request you to take urgent steps to alleviate the sufferings of the victims of the violence and displacement.
Just to recall, the communal riot in Bodo Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) of Assam between the Bodos and the Muslims shattered the lives of lakhs of people. Violence claimed many lives, injured many more and displaced lakhs of people. In the riot, thousands of houses of hundreds of villages of Kokrajhar and Chirang districts of the BTAD areas were burnt into ashes. The riot spread in all the districts of BTAD areas and other contiguous districts of Assam viz. Kokrajhar, Chirang and Baksa (districts of BTAD) and Dhuburi, etc. Over four lakhs victims took shelter in more than three hundred relief camps and many of the victims found shelter in the houses of their relatives outside the BTAD areas. It was a type of ethnic cleansing, to clear out Muslims in particular from the areas controlled by BTAD. Apart from Muslims, other non Bodos, communities living in the Bodoland like the Santals, Koch-Rajbonshis, Nepalis, Bengalis and the Asamiyas are also the victims of this violence and displacement.
Unfortunately, the administration totally failed in controlling the situation. People in the relief camps suffered a lot. They did not get sufficient relief either from the government or non-government agencies to live minimum normal life. Again, the conditions of the people of many relief camps were much worse than the others as these camps were not adequately reached by the government and non-government agencies.
Nearly 36,000 Internally Displaced Persons (I.D.P.S) are still battling a cold winter in different camps of Kokrajhar and Chirang districts. Another 50,000 are in makeshift official camps, near their villages, fearful to return home. They are being threatened by the Bodo militants every day. On 24th December the IDPSof Nalbari camp in Basugaon area and of Nepalpapra of Chirnag district .were threatened by the militants. Muslims have been economically boycotted. Government is providing relief to those who are having land documents. Many of the displaced persons do not have these documents due to various reasons. The result of this policy of government is having disastrous impact on large number of people who have been deprived of govt. relief. Many people are starving. Last week ten people died of hunger and lack of proper medical treatment.
So we demand that
A) All the affected people should be provided with sufficient regular government relief and proper medical care. Sufficient warm clothes should also be provided urgently failing which many more people may lose their life.
B) As the B.T.C. administration and the state government is not taking proper steps to seize illegal arms, the central govt. should ensure that the work of seizing the illegal arms has to be done in all earnestness. Let’s not forget that armed groups are creating a law and order situation, which may become un-controllable over a period of time. All the insurgent groups which have been banned need to be disarmed with utmost seriousness.
C) The process of compensation must be completed on urgent basis. This will help the families to restart their lives afresh. Those whose houses have been burnt should be helped to rehabilitate with due protection.
1.Dr. Monirul Hussain,Retd. Dean, Faculty of Arts, Gauhati University.
2.Dr.Dilip Borah, Convenor, All India Secular Forum, Assam.
3.Dr.Indrajeet Bezbaruah, Convenor, All India Secular Forum ,Assam.
4.Hafiz Ahmed, President, Char-Chapori Sahitya Parishad, Assam.
5.Hanif Mustak, General Secretary, Minority citizens Forum, Assam.
Asghar Ali Engineer, L.S. Hardenia, Ram Puniyani, Irfan Engineer
All India Secular Forum
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