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ULFA-I rebel killed in Udalguri

TANGLA: Security forces claimed to have killed a dreaded ULFA-I rebel at an encounter in Udalguri district on Friday. The encounter is said to have taken place in a remote area near Tangla where a few rebels were believed to have been hiding.

The fierce gin fight erupted as army and police launched the counter insurgency operation in the remote hamlet on Nalbari where Rajen Deka, a senior leader in rank of segment died on the spot.

Others managed to escape from the spot and the security forces have cordoned off the entire area from early in the morning in search of the hiding rebels. Police claimed to have we fixed an AK 47 rifles along with bullets from the spot.

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Power cuts hits normal life

31 Jul 2012 - 10:05pm | editor
Normal life in Assam remains heavily disrupted following large scale power cuts after the regional grid tripped because of heavy load. It took place following the collapse of Northern and Eastern grids.

According to sources, there was heavy load and power frequency came down from the normal 49.9 per cent to 38.34 per cent leading to the collapse of the grid.

The collapse led to power cuts throughout the state. But the situation is likely to improve with additional power inputs from Samaguri, Kathalguri and Namrup Thermal Power Plants which has so far been unaffected by the grid failure.

Displaced Koch-Rajbanshis: forgotten misery

A Displaced Koch Rajbanshi woman with her children
31 May 2015 - 9:57am | Anuj Choudhury

At the peak of Bodo movement for separate homeland in the 1980’s the first community that was targeted, looted, killed and displaced, with the intend of ethnic-cleansing were the Koch-Rajbanshis. From our visit to the field it was reported that around 60 people belonging to the Koch-Rajbanshi community were brutally massacred by the Bodo militants. Haris Pathak (38 years) can still recall the heinous crime he saw when he was a child. He narrates one of the incident where a poor old Koch-Rajbanshi lady, who used to live her life by selling betel leaf, unable to pay ransom to the militants, was tutored, the militants stabbed her eye-balls mercilessly with sharp weapon and made her blind before killing her. With the rising violence, in the year 1989 from the northern part of Bongaigaon (now Chirang) district, about 220 Koch-Rajbanshi families from 43 villages fled from their homes leaving behind their valuable property like land, cattle, crops, etc and took shelter in various designated camps to escape the carnage unleashed by Bodo armed militants.

After being displaced, the victims for a year were kept in various camps in Bongaigaon district. They were first made to settle in Dolaigaon Lower Primary School and then from there they were shifted to North Boitamari High School, from Boitamari High School they were again shifted to Dangtola Lower Primary School and then to Kukurmari, where they stayed in make-shift tents.  After a year, after being made to shift different places, in the year 1990 finally they were made to settle in Phoolkumari, Babunitila-I, Babunitila-II and Pochim Bhadragaon relief camps in Bidyapur in Bongaigaon. As a relief material the displaced only received a 5-6 meter plastic sheet and Rs. 2,500 per family. In these relief camps there are also few Rabha, Sutradhar, Nath and Kalita families who have also been victims of mass killings of the Bodo movement.

25 years have passed till now; these families are still living in these relief camps in most pathetic conditions.  Once these people who were proud farmers and tilled their own ancestral land have been pushed to extreme poverty and are fighting for their basic survival. Also, due to river bank erosion the land allotted for Babunitila-II relief camp is also no more. The river water has washed away this land. The 200 families that were taking shelter in this relief camp have moved to other camps and some have settled in the outskirts of Bongaigaon district on barren lands. The locations where they have settled are in Sanyasi Pahar, Khokorpur, Karigaon, etc.

Present Situation:

The inmates are having a hard time leaving in these camps. The civil society organizations, student unions and the local administration have completely neglected this population. Majority of the population works as daily wage laborers for their income. The condition in the relief camp is so degrading and poverty ridden that the livelihood of many families is also dependent on selling of country liquor. There are also families in the relief camp where prostitution has become their means of survival.

The government has allotted 332 bigha of land for the Phoolkumari relief camp inmates but till today none of the displaced has received any land patta from the concerned authorities. This has also led to other communities who are in majority in that area, mainly the Muslims, forcefully occupying the relief camp’s land. Similar is also the case with Bamunitila Relief Camp where Muslims have occupied a major portion of the relief camp’s land. Moreover, the inmates themselves have sold lands to other communities at very cheap rates due to poverty. The land which current price would be around Rs. 1.5 lakhs per bigha, the inmates have sold it for just Rs. 10,000.  At present the main concern among the inmates has been to legalize these lands.

There is also problem of high dropouts and illiteracy in the village. The village school is not functioning properly as the teachers don’t turn up regularly. Same is the condition with the anganwadi also. Moreover, anganwadi workers and teachers have been employed from outside the village which is against the rule.

Phoolkumari, Babunitila and Bhadragaon have been brought under the ambit of revenue village and the inmates got their voting rights in 1997. But this population has mainly been seen as second class citizens and only used as vote banks. Every time before the elections they are promised many things by the leaders but after the elections none of the promises are fulfilled and the leaders only turn up after five years again. MGNREGA is functioning in the village but none of the inmate of the relief camps has got job cards. However, recently few families have received Rs. 10,000 under Indira Awaz Yojana to build houses and the families have BPL card and are beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System.



Health camps in tea garden areas

9 Nov 2007 - 8:52am | pbaruah
To create awareness among people of diseases like diarrhoea and gastroenteritis, which recently broke out in the tea estates of the region and other neighbouring areas under Sapekhati Block PHC of Sivasagar district, health awareness camps were organized in Barasali TE and Desang Deroi village under Demow Block PHC on November 4 and 5 respectively.

A meeting, held at Barasali TE, was presided over by Jesuda Tanti, president, Bhuyakhat Gaon Panchayat. It was attended by Dr CN Dutta, Joint Director, Health Services, Sivasagar, Dr JM Bora, Project Coordinator, Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, Dr Amrit Kumar Gogoi, Subdivisional Medical and Health Officer, Sapekhati BPHC, Debojyoti Baruah, general secretary, North East People’s Right, Dr Kartik Borthakur, medical officer, Borasali TE, members of the mother’s club and local ATTSA unit, line chowkidars and others. They visited the tea garden lines and urged the people to take steps to prevent diseases.

The NGO members demonstrated the purification of water by chlorination. The NGO has already installed 30 low-cost sanitary latrines in the gardens. Another meeting was organized at Desang Deroi village on November 5 where students of Desang Rajabari LP School took out a rally to create awareness.