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Rehabilitation hits a wall

Kokrajhar, Oct. 13: The Kokrajhar district administration came under attack from relief camps inmates today for forcefully trying to send them back without proper arrangements.

The district administration, which started the process of rehabilitation of the relief camp inmates today, faced stiff opposition from villagers of Diabari, now taking shelter at Helena Guide Nurse Training Centre and Mwiderkhoro community hall, who refused to go back to their villages.

They cited lack of preparation and proper arrangements and the impending examinations of their children as the reasons behind their decision, asking where they would stay till their houses were rebuilt. They also demanded foolproof security before being rehabilitated.

“How can they (administration) expect us to return home when we have no place to stay in the villages, with our houses being torched. It is not that we do not want to go but we need temporary shelter until we rebuild our houses,” said a villager.

The villagers said though the administration had asked them to go back to their villages it was clueless about where they would stay once they went back.

Another villager, Binod Islary, said the government officials had come to the camp last evening to inform them that they would have to move back to the village today and necessary arrangements had been made. The officials had to return after the villagers refused to move. “Where will we stay without any house in the village with the whole family? Haven’t the administration and the government thought about it?”

“We have nothing left in the village now. The government should think about that before moving us to the village,” he added.

“The government should ensure foolproof security for the people in schools and markets, among others, before rehabilitation,” Umani Basumatary, another villager, said, recalling the fact that when the villages were burnt down, no one was there to protect them. The inmates said moving would also harm their children’s education as tests were under way and annual examinations were close.

The male residents of Malgaon and Titliguri (Bamungaon part 4) villages, who were staying at Bineswar Brahma Cultural Complex relief camp, however, returned to their villages today following intervention by BTC members. Kokrajhar deputy commissioner Jayant Narlikar said the rehabilitation process had been initiated and male occupants were being encouraged to go back to build makeshift shelters for their families.

He said the villagers would be provided materials like tarpaulin and bamboo for makeshift shelters, besides money to buy utensils and clothes. Rations for a month would also be provided to rehabilitated the villagers.


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