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Assam violence victims struggle for basic amenities

Bhangarpar (Assam), May 7, 2014 (PTI):
Providing basic amenities like firewood for cooking, drinking water and toilets to the 600 victims of violence lodged in the relief camp here has become a major challenge for the district administration. PTI photo

Providing basic amenities like firewood for cooking, drinking water and toilets to the 600 victims of violence lodged in the relief camp here has become a major challenge for the district administration.

The district administration has set up a relief camp here with tarpaulin tents on the eastern side of Beki river and over 600 people are staying there since May 2, when suspected Bodo terrorists killed at least 26 people staying in Narayanguri and Hagrabari villages on the western side of the river.

"Our priority is to take care of the affected people so that their confidence in the administration is reposed. There are many areas that need to be looked at, but basic amenities are of the prime importance," Baksa DC Vinod Seshan told PTI here.

The district administration is struggling to provide the inmates of the relief camps firewood for cooking, drinking water and toilets, especially for women, he said.

"We have asked the forest department to provide firewood. But as FIRs have been lodged against some forest department personnel, they have fled from here," Seshan said.

The administration has installed two tube-wells for the inmates and is aiming at installing 10 within the next few days, he said.

"Toilets are a major issue. Till now there is no toilet and everyone is going to the open. We want to give some toilets, at least for the women," Seshan said.

The authority is currently constructing six toilets that are likely to be increased to 15 in coming days, he added.

To instill a sense of security, around 2,000 personnel are at present stationed in the area along with nearly 50 top Baksa district administration officials, he said. As per official record, 72 families were staying on west of Beki river, which flows through Manas National Park.

Seshan said 15 persons are still missing and an NDRF team has reached the spot to find more bodies from the river.

Militants also simultaneously attacked people belonging to the minority community in Kokrajhar. Forty-one people have been killed in the two districts so far.

Seshan, who took charge of Baksa district on April 18, said, "Whether you call it my luck or coincidence, I have only served disturbed or difficult places since. This is my first posting as Deputy Commissioner of a district and the unfortunate incident took place within 15 days of my taking charge."

The 2008 batch IAS officer from Tamil Nadu served as Sub-Divisional Officer of Gossaigaon in Kokrajhar in 2012, when communal clashes broke out in the district.


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