Bhangarpar (Assam), 7 May-2014, Trideep Lahkar: Following Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s visit to the relief camp amidst presence of nearly 300 security personnel here, the inmates opined that the massacre could have been averted if even 50 of them were present at the village on the unfortunate day.
“For one person, so much security is there. But for more than 500 people, there were no security at all,” a victim said.
“Today our relatives and loved ones would have been alive if 50 security personnel were there for us,” he added.
Victims are demanding a permanent security camp on west of Beki river and the district administration has decided to station a Quick Response Team of Assam Police there till further order.
Gogoi today visited the affected families here, first time since the violence took place on May 2.
“What took the Chief Minister so long to come to us? Some of his Ministers came but why is he so less bothered about our lives? Is it because we constitute only a few hundred votes?,” another victim, who did not wish to be identified, said.
Gogoi came by a chopper from Guwahati and spent around one hour at the relief camp at the east side of Beki river.
He, however, did not go to the affected villages, which are on the west side of the river and did an aerial survey.
For his arrival, a temporary helipad was set up yesterday after personnel from CM Security Cell reached the spot.
Bamboo barricades were also put up around the relief camp to control the crowd.
Gogoi was accompanied by Forest Minister Rockybul Hussai, Food and Civil Supply Minister Nazrul Islam and Cooperation and Border Areas Development Minister Siddique Ahmed.
A female, who had lost her minor son in the killing, fainted during the interaction and Gogoi himself prevented her from falling. She was rushed to the temporary healthcare centre at the relief camp.
A few thousand people thronged the relief camp, which has been set up in the low-lying area between two embankments of Beki river, to see the Chief Minister.
“People have come from Barpeta district and some very distant villages also. They have come mostly to see the CM. The crowd is so large as if some festival is going on,” one of the volunteers in the camp said.
“I have never seen a helicopter. It is beautiful. Also I heard about the black cat commandos, but today I saw them with my own eyes,” a villager said referring to the NSG commandos.
A senior district administration official said hundreds of curious locals were crowding near the mobile water treatment plant.
“They are so surprised to see that how the vehicle sources water from the river and then treats and packs it in plastic bags. It’s a big wonder for them,” he added.
The official said public is also curious to see how NDRF team carries out search operation.
With such a huge presence of security and public, two tea shops owners at Bhangarpar market are happy with steady flow of customers for the last 3-4 days.
“Whatever happened to the people on other side of river is very sad. I pray to god that this never occurs again… My shop’s business is doing very well after the camp was set up here,” the owner of a tea stall said.
(Input source: Outlook)