We do not have anything to eat, says victim of Assam ethnic clashes

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 24, 2011 11:20 hrs

Victims of ethnic clashes between Assam and Meghalaya pled for help as they complained of lack of basic necessities in relief camps.

The villagers, since ethnic clashes broke out between the Rabha and Garo tribal communities on the Assam-Meghalaya border, have been forced to live under constant fear of retaliatory attacks.

Several people have been living in makeshift tents without even basic facilities like sufficient supply of food and water.

"We are not getting any facility here. There is lack of drinking water and no facility of toilets. We are not getting sufficient food. Our houses have been burnt. We are living a very hard life. All our cattle are lost. No minister has visited us till now," said Jerina Sangma, a riot victim.

The officials who visited the relief camps were angered to see the condition of the victims.

"Everybody is responsible for this. First of all at the government level, the central government has no sympathy, amity, whatsoever, with regards for the people who are displaced as result of conflict. The government should have had a policy saying that anybody displaced while in camps, this is what they will get and once they leave the camp this is what they will get. So, since the last 65 years the government has failed on that," said Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

At least seven people were killed during the clashes between Rabha and Garo tribals on the Assam-Meghalaya border since January 2.

Official sources said while three persons were killed in Goalpara district in Assam, four persons were killed in East Garo Hills district.

Over 20,000 persons, most of them Rabha tribals, have taken shelter in 26 relief camps in Goalpara district, while about 4,000 people have been lodged in camps in East Garo Hills district, sources said

Earlier, Union Minister Agatha Sangma and her father, former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, called up Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Home Secretary G K Pillai after which five companies - around 600 personnel - were rushed to the state boundary. (ANI)

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