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Gogoi praises BTC for fast resettlement

- Hagrama softens stand on rehabilitation

Kokrajhar, Jan. 16: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today credited the BTC authorities and Congress for the quick rehabilitation of the riot-affected in BTAD.

BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary softened his stand on rehabilitation of doubtful citizens in the Bodo belt, saying all displaced people would be re-settled with or without land documents.

Addressing a public meeting on peace and communal harmony at Andujhar Part I (Diabari) in Kokrajhar district today, the chief minister said, “We thought it would take time to rehabilitate the people after such major riots but I am told only about 6,000 people are now left in the relief camps and the process is on to rehabilitate them. Most of the over 4 lakh people have returned. It was possible because of the initiative by the Hagrama Mohilary-led BTC administration and the people of this area, who have realised that we need to live together in peace. The riots were incited by certain forces to create misunderstanding and chaos among the people.”

Gogoi said in the past 12 years, a lot of development had taken place in various sectors, be it health, education, road or other infrastructure. “Assam has moved forward. Similar is the case with the BTC since its formation. It has developed on all fronts. If we want development, we need to live together in peace.”

The chief minister also spoke of coming up with schemes for those who were orphaned or widowed in the riots. “We have to take their responsibility,” he said in the meeting where he also handed over cheques for Rs 2.75 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed during the riots.

Mohilary, who shared the dais with Gogoi, softened his tough stand on rehabilitation and said all displaced people would be settled within BTAD. “The genuine Indian people who have no land documents will be rehabilitated in their places of origin. The 5,000-6,000 people taking shelter at relief camps in Bilasipara in Dhubri will be rehabilitated within this month,” he said.

Mohilary had earlier taken a tough stand on rehabilitation, asserting that the 1971 voter list should be the only criterion for rehabilitation in the second phase that aims to resettle victims without land pattas.