People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 41

October 14, 2012

Prakash Karat Visits Relief Camps in Assam


CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat visited relief camps in the violence hit districts of Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon on October 5 and also inaugurated distribution of relief materials to the affected people. It may be noted that the CPI (M) has given a call for collection of relief materials and funds for the displaced people of Assam who are residing in the relief camps till today. The ethnic violence that took place in the month of July had rendered more than five lakhs people  homeless in the BTAD areas. According to the government sources, nearly two lakh people are still in the relief camps leading a deplorable life. Of these, 1.5 lakh people still displaced are Muslims.


One of the thickly populated relief camps is the Lakhipur relief camp where 392 Muslim families are taking shelter without having basic amenities. Out of them, 112 families have lost their houses. Visiting this camp, Prakash Karat interacted with the people and said that the CPI(M) is raising the demand that the state government and the BTAD administration must take all measures so that people can go back to their homes at the earliest. Explaining the conditions of the people of the camp Ahmed Ali, secretary of Lakhipur relief camp said that the people are residing in the camp without any basic amenities. There is no sanitation, no drinking water and the students are out of schools for all this period. The conditions of women are even worse. The government is providing rice, dal and salt. The question of nutrition is completely neglected. There is no firewood to cook. There is no electricity and the government is providing only two candles in three weeks.


The relief camp speaks volumes about its own condition. Prakash Karat expressed great concern at the utter negligence on the part of the government towards the people in the relief camps. He personally visited each and every hut made of plastic sheets and was astonished to see how people can be left to live in such condition by the Congress government in the state. Prakash Karat also inaugurated the distribution of relief materials to the people. He said that the CPI(M) is collecting funds to provide some relief to the affected people. He also said that the West Bengal committee of the Party is taking special steps in so far as collection of funds for relief work is concerned.


Earlier he visited Kakrikhola M.E. School relief camp in Kokrajhar district. In this camp, 200 Bodo families are taking shelter. The MLA of the constituency Pramila Rani Brahma welcomed the initiative of the CPI(M). Prakash Karat stressed that it is the urgent need of the hour that people go to their respective homes. All other issues can be addressed after peace and normalcy returned to the state. CPI(M) Assam state secretary Uddhab Barman, CPI(M) leader Hemen Das and other leaders of the districts accompanied Karat.


After visiting the relief camps, Prakash Karat addressed a public meeting at Bijni. The meeting was presided over by veteran leader Dr Mahodar Pathak. Addressing the gathering, Prakash Karat said that the incidents in the BTAD and its adjoining districts have repercussions throughout the country. The exodus of people of the North-East from the Southern part of the country is a clear manifestation of this. This affects the working people the most. We must identify the forces of division and defeat their conspiracies. Karat stressed that all the people in the relief camps must be allowed to go back to their homes and villages. The minority community should not be targetted as demanded by the communal forces. The meeting was also addressed by state secretariat members Hemen Das and state secretary Uddhab Barman. They called upon the people of the state to fight all conspiracies to divide people on communal lines. They also criticised the state government for its utter failure in safeguarding the lives and properties of the people of the state.