GOALPARA (Kukurkata), Feb 4 � Even after a month since clashes broke out between the Rabhas and Garos along the Assam-Meghalaya border, tension still prevails here in the relief camps and the villages surrounding it. So when the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) came calling here at one of the relief camps set up in the Nibari Majalia Vidyalaya, the affected people did not ask for food and medicine, but appealed for security.
The conflict victims urged the ICRC to exert pressure on the governments at the State and the Centre so that necessary steps are taken to ensure security of life and property to the people affected in the ethnic clash.
Losing all their lives� savings in the incident, these people lack the confidence to go back and build anew on the ashes of their burnt homes. The conflict has reduced Suchin Chandra Rabha of Thurika village to penury. He does not know what the future holds in store for him. Once a very rich man with properties running to crores, Rabha is now sleeping on hay and eating just two meals a day comprising rice and dal only in the relief camp.
It needs to be mentioned here that the ICRC today distributed relief materials to around 248 families sheltered in the relief camp and more families would be covered in the relief programme. Deputy head of regional delegation, ICRC, Yahia Alibi, Renuka Devi Barkataki, chairperson of the Assam State branch of the Indian Red Cross and many other officials of the international body were present at the relief distribution programme and they assured the victims that the problems faced by them would be placed before the authorities concerned.
�The displaced families, who are sheltered in makeshift camps, are living under unhygienic conditions. So we are focusing on providing the essential supplies to the affected people,� said Barkataki.
The supplies included kitchen sets, blankets, buckets, jerrycans, plastic sheet, mugs, and bath and laundry soaps.
�Security is what we need at this hour. If the government ensures security of our lives, we can go back and build our homes and cultivate our land,� said Rahul Rabha of Thurika village on the Meghalaya side. He has been living in this relief camp with his parents and siblings since the night of January 3. He is 22 years of age and he said he does not want to see his mother and sisters languishing any more in the relief camp.