GUWAHATI, Jan 8 � Accusing the government machinery of failing to protect the lives and property of the ethnic clash-affected Rabha community in areas bordering Meghalaya, former Chief Minister and leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta on Friday said over 20,000 refugees were spending sleepless nights in sub-human conditions in appallingly-managed relief camps.
Mahanta who led an AGP delegation to the affected areas, submitted a memorandum to Governor JB Patnaik seeking his intervention for restoration of normalcy between the clashing groups and for ensuring adequate relief and amenities in the camps.
Addressing the media, Mahanta said tension had been brewing in the area for some time with sporadic incidents but the failure of the State Government to take note of those and act in time worsened the situation. �Both the Assam Government and the Meghalaya Government are headed by the Congress but they totally failed in tackling the situation for which thousands of innocent families are suffering,� he said.
Mahanta said while the immediate task before the authorities was to compensate and rehabilitate the affected people - most of those rendered homeless and left without any income-generating avenue - efforts must be directed towards ensuring lasting peace between the Rabha and Garo communities.
The AGP leader also called for intervention from the Central Government to ease the situation, as both the State governments had failed in their constitutional obligation of safeguarding the lives and property of the people. �More Central forces should be deployed to diffuse the tension in the affected areas. There is also a constitutional provision for Central intervention when two tribal communities clash,� he said.
Calling for a political solution of the Rabha community�s demand for autonomy, Mahanta said the Congress Government was seeking political mileage by keeping the issue hanging in balance.
AGP leaders Thaneswar Bodo, Kamala Kalita and Ramendra Narayan Kalita also called for resolving the contentious issues politically so that it did not affect the long-standing camaraderie of the people.