GUWAHATI, 22 June-2014, Naresh Mitra/TNN: Ramzan Ali (35) is inconsolable when he thinks of his mother, wife and children— all killed by gunmen during the bloodbath in Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) last month. One of his children is still missing.
BTAD victims and Relief camp inmates launch hunger strike
A resident of Nonke Khagrabari in BTAD’s Baksa district, Ramzan, along with others, has been living in one of the many makeshift tents set up by the government after violence in BTAD claimed more than 40 lives. However, Ramzan’s woes have not ended with the cessation of violence. Life in the relief camp has proved to be much worse that he could have ever imagined.
“For a month, we haven’t got rice and other essential items. Life is very hard for us,” he rued.
Hundreds of violence-affected people from the 70-odd makeshift tents on Saturday resorted to an indefinite hunger-strike at Narayanguri Bhangarpar Bazar to demand regularization of rations. They are also protesting against the release on bail of 10 persons arrested in connection with the violence. They blamed police for framing weak cases against the accused and allowing them to seek bail.
“How could these persons, who were involved in the killings, get bail? Had police framed a strong case against them, they would not have got bail,” Ramzan said. “We have withstood untold suffering in the relief camps. However, releasing the accused has really let us down. We want the government to give us justice and dignity,” he added.
Abdul Kalam Azad, who is leading a psycho-social support team from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in the affected areas, said conditions of the relief camps were deplorable. “Food, lighting and security remain major concerns of the survivors,” Azad observed.