With the recovery of a body in the violence-hit lower Assam districts,the death toll in the unrest today rose to 45,while the Army staged flag marches in worst-hit Kokrajhar and curfew was relaxed in some of the affected districts.
A body was found floating in river Gouranga in Dhubri district while 11 people were reported missing on the eighth day of the strife,official sources said.
In Baksa district,where clashes between minority immigrants and Bodos were reported only yesterday,unidentified persons torched three houses at Simla in Daodhar village,they said.
There was no casualty or injury.
In the other three riot-torn BTAD districts of Kokrajhar,Chirang and Dhubri,stray attacks and counter-attacks by the two communities continued.
Curfew was relaxed today in Kokrajhar district from 6 AM to 6 PM,while it was relaxed from 8 AM to 10 PM in the minority-dominated Dhubri district. Night curfew will continue in Chirang,the sources said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to visit Kokrajhar district,which has seen the maximum number of casualties,tomorrow to review the situation.
Train services,which resumed on Wednesday after being paralysed for two days,were reported normal.
Nearly two lakh people have taken shelter in 250 relief camps,the sources said.
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said 55 more doctors have been sent to relief camps in the five districts of Kokrajhar,Bongaigaon,Chirang,Baksa and Dhubri in addition to the medical staff sent yesterday.
Already a team of doctors from the Guwahati Medical College was working in Kokrajhar.
Sarma said though there was adequate supply of medicines in the affected districts,four more trucks of medicines have been sent as precautionary measure.
Violence in lower Assam worst crisis for state govt: Gogoi
Describing the violence in the four Assam districts as the worst crisis his government has faced,Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday said 45 people had been killed and three lakh people rendered homeless till now.
Addressing a press conference,Gogoi said the Army and paramilitary forces were keeping a constant vigil on the situation,which is still fluid.
During a visit to Kokrajhar yesterday,Gogoi had said the situation was improving.
The chief minister said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would visit Assam tomorrow to take stock of the situation.
We have ordered for extra relief and hope that the Centre will help, he said while assuring people that all steps would be taken to restore normalcy.
Curfew had been relaxed in Kokrajhar,Dhubri and Chirang and trains resumed their services,he said.
Lack of food,water and medicines plague refugee camps
Dhubri/Kokrajhar: People rendered homeless due to clashes between Bodos and minority immigrants have alleged lack of sufficient food,drinking water and medicines in relief camps,a charge denied by authorities.
A two-year-old child and a 60-year-old man have also died in two relief camps in Bilasipara in Dhubri district,but the cause of death was yet to be ascertained,official sources said.
“The condition in most relief camps is pathetic with food and drinking water in short supply. We fear there will be more deaths in the days to come from disease,” Bilasipara resident Monowar Hussain said.
Of the three lakh people who have fled their homes,1,53,000 refugees have been housed in 118 camps in Dhubri district alone,with the allegation against the district administration being that only rice and pulses were provided and that too in insufficient quantity.
A leading citizen of Dhubri Jahanuddin Ahmed said people collected money from vehicles on national highways to buy supplies for the refugees.
Another citizen Abdul Rashid alleged that there was shortage of medicines and there were very few doctors which was causing problems for those who were falling ill in camps.
Dhubri Deputy Commissioner Kumud Kalita denied the allegations and said that sufficient food was being provided.
“There is no shortage of medicine either. Doctors are working round-the-clock among refugees. Additional doctors are arriving from Guwahati to attend to them,” Kalita said.
The refrain of among inmates in camps in worst-affected Kokrajhar and Chirang districts in the Bodoland Territorial Administered Districts (BTAD) was also the same.
“We don’t want to stay in relief camps. We are human beings,we want to live in our homes and not like animals in relief camps where we have to struggle for food,” said 60-year-old Gobind Narzary in Kokrajhar,urging the government to provide security so that they could return home.
“Most of the inmates are still traumatised over the events of the last week. We thought we will be safe and taken care of in camps,but are faced with several other problems,” said 54-year Jhunu Boro who was yet to come to terms with the killing of four youths at her village Joypur in Kokrajhar.
“Houses have been razed to the ground,our fields have been damaged and our cattle killed. Now the condition in relief camps has made our lives unbearable,” 42-year old Pramila Goyary of Gossaigaon said.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi,who visited Kokrajhar yesterday to review the situation,has directed the administration to ensure that there was no shortage of food,drinking water and medicines for those in relief camps.