TURA, March 8 � After more than one-and-a-half months� of stay in relief camps in Goalpara district the last batch of 6500 displaced Rabha people returned to camps in Meghalaya between February 25 and March 1. Emotions ran high as the Rabhas were greeted warmly by the local Garo population and assured of security and assistance in the process of rebuilding their homes and starting a livelihood.
�They have also been enumerated for census in the revisional round between March 1 and 5 and in some cases even within February 28 which was the normal period of enumeration taking off a major worry from the head of district administration of East Garo Hills which had been overstretched to its limits ensuring the return of the natives and facilitating their Census head count,� informed Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi.
The return and the census exercise was apparently achieved after several high profile visits to the camps in Goalpara and hectic parleys with the district administration of Goalpara and the representatives and leaders of Rabha camps in Assam. With the return of the Rabhas within the stipulated time of Census operations the exact figures of the Rabha community can be ascertained in the Census � 2011 which concluded on 5th March , 2011 and for which compilation of reports and data is currently been done. The Rabhas who have returned have been kept in 18 transit camps and are 4711 in numbers.
As confidence building measures, the East Garo Hills district administration has issued instructions for the maintenance of transit relief camps by providing them with ration, medical facilities, nutritional supplement to the children and impregnated bed nets against malaria to the affected families.
Additionally, the administration of East Garo Hills is being cautious about the relief and rehabilitation process as a writ petition in the form of a PIL has been filed by the Asian Centre for Human Rights before the High Court of Gauhati and has been admitted by a bench headed by the Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court
The writ has made scathing remarks against the governments of Assam and Meghalaya for failing to do enough to prevent the ethnic clash and not doing enough towards relief and rehabilitation. This has been contested by the district administration and comments on the steps taken up by the it are being offered on the court matter.
Under the leadership of Civil Sub-Divisional Officer of Resubelpara, Ram Singh, several peace meetings were conducted in violence-hit villages of Genang, Hathibasa, Soenang, Thapa Dangre, Moranodi, Rongkhindap, Dankhong, Thorika, Rompara and Darampara. These meetings witnessed participation of members of both the communities.
Apart from according ceremonial welcome to the Rabha natives, pleasantries have been exchanged by both communities in a show of bonhomie. All the meetings were participated by the local MLA and C&RD Minister Frankenstein W Momin who voiced his vocal support for the process of peace and reconciliation.