BARPATHAR (Karbi Anglong), Jan 8 � The mercury dipped to 11 degree Celsius around 7 in the morning in Diphu. While the temperature has since kept fluctuating, some 3,000 people remained at the receiving end of a constant heat of a different nature.
Although no fresh incident of violence has been reported in the last 48 hours, these violence-affected people, mostly from Rengma and Karbi communities, are still living under fear � unsure as to what tomorrow has in store for them and their loved ones.
They still do not know what their mistake was and what actually had led to the bloodbath. They want to go home but only when their security is ensured.
Drooping shoulders and gloomy faces describe the plight of the victims currently sheltered in the relief camps, irrespective of them being a Karbi, Rengma or any other community, and are now looking up to the State machinery to bail them out of the crisis.
The affected people are unanimous in demanding peace and security to their lives and are in no mood to settle for anything less than that. Official sources, however, claim that the situation is under control and some inmates have already gone back to their respective homes.
�I lost my mother before my eyes. We cried for help and prayed for mercy. But nobody bothered. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure our safety,� recounted Nathan Rengma, whose mother Ngashenle Rengma (65) was one of those shot dead by suspected KPLT militants on December 27 in Khuwanigaon village along with three women and a man.
Himself a �gaon-burha� (village headman), Nathan, a father of three children, is now housed in the Barpathar High School relief camp along with 1,053 villagers of several Rengma-inhabited villages, including Khuwanigaon, where violence first broke out.
Helo Rengma (70) is still to come out of the shock. He witnessed his 45-year-old wife being killed from close range by a gunman without even citing reasons. �Not only that, the miscreants poured fuel on her body and burnt her,� he said.