Only land owners to go home

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  • Published 31.08.12

Kokrajhar/Guwahati, Aug. 30: The Bodoland Territorial Council today instructed circle officers to collect data about land patta holders within September 4 for placing at the September 6 meeting between it and the group of ministers.

The two sides had met yesterday to discus the rehabilitation issue and had decided to allow only those having valid land-holding documents back into BTAD.

Dispur, too, has stepped up efforts to expedite the process. Cabinet minister Rakibul Hussain told The Telegraph that a meeting of the group of ministers and senior bureaucrats would be held in Guwahati tomorrow morning to work out a plan to execute the rehabilitation modalities arrived at in yesterday’s meeting. “It will be done in phases. First priority will be given to rehabilitation on the basis of land records,” Hussain said.

Parliamentary secretary (home) Bhupen Kumar Borah, who was touring relief camps along with colleague Rana Goswami, MP Rani Narah and BPF, Absu, ABMSU and Muslim leaders to build confidence, told The Telegraph, “All sides have agreed to proper verification by district administration before rehabilitation. There will be no political interference. We have also decided to give compensation to the affected within 48 hours of their reaching home.”

Power minister Pradyut Bordoloi, along with BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary, toured Gossaigaon area where “people were eagerly waiting for such a joint effort to instil confidence.”

Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was also among the ministers touring the camps, trying to allay the inmates’ fears.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi, welcoming yesterday’s breakthrough, reiterated in Guwahati that only genuinely displaced Indian citizens would be rehabilitated.

A meeting between the land and revenue department of the BTC and the deputy commissioners, sub-divisional officers (civil) and circle officers of Kokrajhar, Dhubri and Chirang districts was held today at the BTC secretariat in Kokrajhar to work on the decisions taken in yesterday’s meeting.

BTC executive member in-charge of land and revenue department Reoreoa Narzihary said the circle officers and mandals had been instructed to collect data about the people (at the relief camps) holding land pattas and those not in possession of such documents. “Everything will be taken into account like those having land pattas or names in voter lists. The circle officers and mandals will visit relief camps, collect data and submit it by September 4 and this will be placed at the group of ministers-BTC meet on September 6 after scrutiny.”

Kokrajhar deputy commissioner Jayanta Narlekar said as land and revenue was a BTC subject, the meeting was held to sort out the strategy to bring back displaced people having proper land documents. “Process is on to rehabilitate genuine Indian citizens to their original places of residence.”

Dhubri deputy commissioner Kumud Kalita also met the displaced people from the district now taking shelter at relief camps in Kokrajhar as part of the confidence-building measures and talked to them about their safety and security on their return home.

“Our deputy commissioner was here. He talked to us and promised us protection in our area but we are not confident yet. Even if we go back to our village it will be like staying in a zoo. How safe will we be? We cannot survive just by remaining within our village. We have to move out for our daily needs. Will we be safe on our way — visiting markets, offices and schools? Going by the present situation, we cannot go to our village even with security,” A.K. Narzary, a resident of Baukabanghi village now living in a relief camp in Kokrajhar, said.

On security, the Kokrajhar deputy commissioner said, “Altogether 81 fixed pickets have been installed in the affected villages so far. Till date, there are 46 relief camps sheltering about 44,000 displaced people in the district.”