Women at Titaguri relief camp in Kokrajhar district. Picture by UB Photos
Aug. 5: Dispur today constituted a group of ministers to effectively oversee and coordinate relief and rehabilitation in the violence-affected districts in the Bodo belt.
Water resources minister Prithibi Majhi will head the group, which comprises ministers Tanka Bahadur Rai, Gautam Roy, Nazrul Islam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Rakibul Hussain and Chandan Brahma as members and agriculture minister Nilamoni Sen Deka as member secretary. The group was formed at the direction of chief minister Tarun Gogoi.
Sources told The Telegraph that the chief minister had directed the group to immediately proceed to the riot-affected districts and has also directed health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to camp in the affected areas along with senior health department officials to monitor the situation and ensure proper healthcare facilities for all camp inmates.
The state government has set August 15 as the deadline to rehabilitate those affected by the recent violence in Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Baksa and Chirang districts.
On reports about poor health conditions in the relief camps, the chief minister said his government was ensuring the best possible treatment for all camp inmates, particularly women and children and directed requisition of medical and paramedical staff and medicines from other districts if necessary to fulfil the requirement in the riot-hit areas.
He said assistance from the private sector might also be sought if necessary, adding that all necessary funds and other support would be made available for this purpose.
Sources said Gogoi also directed chief secretary N.K. Das to take all preventive measures, including deployment of senior officials in the affected areas, to ensure that not a single life was lost owing to lack of medical attention.
Asaduddin Owaisi, MP and president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen from Hyderabad who has been camping in riot-hit areas of lower Assam with medicines and a team of physicians and paramedics, expressed serious concern over the shortage of medical aid in the camps.
He said the relief camps would soon turn into death camps if the ailing inmates were not given proper treatment immediately.
“I have visited some of the camps in Dhubri district today and found that 99 per cent of the ailing inmates were living in unhygienic and most unhealthy conditions. If proper treatment is not given to these ailing patients, mostly children and women, relief camps will turn into death camps soon,” Owaisi said.
Addressing reporters at Dhubri circuit house last night, the MP expressed dissatisfaction at the displaced Muslim camp inmates being labelled Bangladeshis and said these people were genuine Indian citizens.
Referring to arson and killing in Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts, Owaisi said it was ethnic cleansing launched by the Bodos, displacing lakhs of Muslims living in these areas.
Owaisi also urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to institute a CBI probe and book the perpetrators of the violence, while asking the chief minister to rehabilitate the displaced before August 15 as promised.