Guwahati, Thursday, September 13, 2012
Thousands 'flee' relief camps
Rituraj Borthakur & Mousumi Chakraborty, Guwahati/Dhubri (Sept 12): Is it now exfiltration from infiltration? Several thousand "inmates" housed in relief camps of Dhubri district have gone missing, reinforcing apprehension that suspected illegal migrants had taken shelter in the camps in the wake of the riots in a bid to get "rehabilitated" in India.
Highly-placed officials have confirmed the development though they are not sure about the figure. An official in Dhubri claimed that over 1,000 inmates were confirmed missing, but an intelligence agency said that the number could be as high as 40,000. Incidentally, a report has also been sent to New Delhi on the development.Most of the missing cases have been reported from the Hatijura and Golakganj blocks in Dhubri where there are around 41 relief camps. Relief coordinators in some camps have also confirmed that inmates were missing in their camps.The phenomenon was reported shortly after the government had begun the process of verification of the credentials of the inmates for rehabilitation in the first week of September. "Forms were given to the inmates seeking land patta details, signatures and thumb impression. Some of the inmates avoided the exercise for a couple of days and then suddenly went missing," an official source said.But where have these inmates gone? Difficult to give an answer, an official of the Border Security Force (BSF) said, adding that there was a possibility of them landing up in some other districts in the state or even in Cooch Behar in neighbouring West Bengal.The disappearance of these inmates lends credence to the allegations that people unaffected by the riots had landed in the relief camps to avail themselves of the facilities offered by the government. Seven Sisters Post had earlier reported that some camps in Dhubri had more people than was expected from the riot-affected zone. According to government data, there were nearly five lakh inmates lodged in over 300 relief camps.But an objective estimate suggests that not more than 1.5 lakh people should have been uprooted from their homes following the riots.The incident proves beyond doubt that there were efforts, either planned or unplanned, to get more people settled in the troubled districts. No doubt, Bodo leaders and other civil society organisations had raised concerns and were stressing upon the need for proper verification of documents before the process of resettlement could begin. They said that only people with land pattas would be allowed to resettle and those who had occupied forests and community grazing grounds would not be welcomed.Meanwhile, according to PTI, in order to deal with the growing demand for detection of illegal immigrants, the Assam government has asked the Union Home Ministry to allow setting up of 64 additional tribunals for detection of foreigners.In a communication to Union Home Secretary RK Singh, the state government reasoned that additional tribunals would help settle more than three lakh cases pending before the 36 tribunals currently Assam has."We will send a proposal to the Finance Ministry for approval," a home ministry official said. The Centre reimburses the expenses incurred on functioning 36 tribunals. Around Rs 22 lakh is estimated to be the expense for each tribunal. The tribunals function under Foreigners Act 1946.Since 1986, after the signing of the Assam Accord, the government machinery has identified just 54,000 illegal migrants, 39,000 of which have gone missing in the state.(seven siter post)
Mohilary threatens to boycott rehabilitation process
KOKRAJHAR, Sept 12: In a twist to the ongoing raid into the Youth Wing of Bodoland People's Front (BPF) offices in Kokrajhar district by CBI, BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary reacted strongly to the raid and warned that the Council might be compelled to boycott the rehabilitation process of relief camp inmates if this continues. In a press meet held at the party office here today, Mohilary said that the CBI team on Wednesday raided four primary offices of the BPF Youth Wing located at Titaguri, Gaurang Tinali, Karigaon and Buismuri and collected the identity cards of all youth members. He said, the CBI team also collected mobile phone numbers of all youth members.Mohilary said, the CBI should have obtained permission from the Election Commission of India (ECI) to raid the office of a registered regional political party. He wandered how the CBI raided the office of a registered political party and whether they took permission from the ECI. He also said he would take up the matter with the Election Commission of India.In view of the above development, the BPF has called an emergent meeting of the Youth BPF on Thursday at Kokrajhar and an executive meeting of the Central committee on Friday at Barama in Baksa district. (The Sentinel)
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