GUWAHATI, July 27 (IANS): Normalcy is slowly returning in Assam's violence-hit Bodo areas, where week-long communal clashes claimed 45 lives, with no reports of any fresh incidents of violence being reported from anywhere in the affected areas since Thursday, the government said.
"There are no reports of any fresh incidents except for the two incidents in Baksa district Thursday. The situation is coming back to normal," said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Friday.
Kokrajhar and Chirang, which form the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) along with Baksa and Udalguri districts, were hit severely in the past one week after clashes broke out between the dominant Bodos and the Bengali-speaking Muslim settlers since July 19.
The violence soon spread to contiguous Dhubri and Baksa districts, though no casualties were reported from the former.
Indefinite curfew, clamped in Kokrajhar and Chirang following the clashes, was also relaxed but night curfew -- from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- will continue in both the districts, district administration sources said.
Night curfew was also clamped in some sensitive areas of Dhubri, but relaxed later.
The toll was 45, including three rioters shot dead by police in Kokrajhar, Gogoi told media persons here.
The violence has displaced about 3.92 lakh people in the three districts, the chief minister said.
The administration now has the major task of rehabilitating the affected people, with many of the displaced wary of returning home.
"The houses in the entire village where we are from have been burnt completely. We also heard that the people from opposite community have taken over our houses. Now how do we go home? What is the guarantee that the attackers would not come back again and kill us? We are not going back until proper security is provided to us," said Maneswar Brahma, who has been living with his family at the relief camp in Kokrajhar Commerce College.
The Assam government Friday sent a team of 55 doctors and four truckloads of medicines to the violence-affected districts and assured that specialist doctors and nurses will be sent to the districts soon to take care of the medical needs of the people, particularly those living in relief camps.
The government also asked the district administration to arrange for sufficient food, proper sanitation and safe drinking water in the relief camps.
Kokrajhar Deputy Commissioner Donald Gilselon maintained that there had not been any incident in the district since Tuesday, while his Chirang counterpart, U.N. Bora also said that there had not been any fresh incidents in the district since Thursday.
"However, we must continue the night curfew for few more days," Bora told IANS.
As many as 67 companies of central paramilitary forces had been deployed in the affected areas. Some forces had also been deployed in Dhubri.
Apart from this, close to 4,000 soldiers were also deployed. The army had Wednesday staged a flag march in the violence-affected and other sensitive areas.
Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri are contiguous landscape. While Dhubri shares the border with Bangladesh in the south, Kokrajhar and Chirang border Bhutan.
According to official sources, the violence started July 19 after gunmen attacked two student leaders in Magurbari. Following this, four former Bodo militants were shot dead.
Both the communities then began attacking each other, accusing each other of orchestrating ethnic cleansing.