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NRHC faults Assam govt in relief to riot victims

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 20:18

New Delhi: National Human Rights Commission Tuesday accused the Assam government of not taking adequate steps for rehabilitation of riot victims of Kokrajhar and other places, saying most of them have not got monetary assistance and were living in overcrowded camps.

In a statement, the rights body made public the findings of its four-member team which visited riot-hit Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts from August six to nine and submitted a report, which talked about problems in food supply and unhygenic conditions.

"All the relief camps were by and large over crowded. There was a wide difference in the actual and official figures of total inmates at the relief camps. This is creating problems in proper supply of food, ration and other amenities.

"Security was a principal concern and the inmates feared returning to their villages. It was also observed that there was no information on the exact number of deaths as well as disbursement of the amount to the next of kin of the deceased," the statement said quoting from the report.

The NHRC noted that the state government allocated Rs 1,000 (Rs 500 for clothes and Rs 500 for buying utensils) to each family but during the interaction with inmates in camps, "it was found that many families had not received any monetary assistance".

In some cases only amount for clothes was received and most of them complained that this amount was "inadequate", it said.

The report said there was no information on the exact number of deaths as well as disbursement of compensation to the next of kin of the deceased.

Commenting on the condition of the camps, the NHRC team said hygiene and sanitation were not up to the mark and drinking water, toilets and bathing facilities did not meet the requirement.

Inmates, especially children, suffered from malaria, dysentery, typhoid, jaundice and they complained that medicines being prescribed to them were "ineffective", the report said.

"At many places, inmates were found cooking their own food... Hot and humid condition with lack of power supply, lighting and fans made the situation bad in many camps even as some of these were water logged, leaving almost no space for inmates to even sit.

"Bedding was not provided in most of the camps. Children and women particularly were facing tough time. Women were not getting sanitary napkins, even as the district authorities claimed that these were being provided," the report said.

The NHRC has now asked Assam Chief Secretary to submit a response on the findings of the NHRC team within eight weeks and specify the total number of people still staying in various camps and whether any Commission of Inquiry has been constituted by the state so far.

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 20:18
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