GUWAHATI, Jan 5 – The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in a report following field visits to the NDFB (S) violence-affected areas of Assam, has stated that over 3,00,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) of the State – the largest conflict induced IDPs of the world in 2014 – were languishing under a man-made humanitarian crisis in 85 relief camps in four districts, i.e., Sonitpur, Kokrajhar, Udalguri and Chirang.
The ACHR’s observation came after its visit to some of the affected sites on December 27. As per Assam Government’s official figures, as of today, the number of refugees in relief camps is 1.40 lakh in 85 relief camps.
“The Government of Assam has been hesitant to fully extend humanitarian assistance to all the IDPs in order to prevent more displacement and reduce cost of rehabilitation,” the ACHR said.
An ACHR team assisted by Adivasi civil society organisations visited the affected areas on December 27 and the team had limited access as curfew was in force in Sonitpur and Udalguri districts then, and the police did not allow visit to the interior places for security reasons. The team visited Jiagabharu High School relief camp, Hugrajuli relief camp and Tinisuti relief camp.
“The inmates of all the camps had similar stories to tell: the State Government failed to provide relief including warm clothes, baby food, safe drinking water, and there was no provision for pregnant women and lactating mothers, while some food items were supplied by local public and organisations. Sanitation and hygiene are almost non-existent,” it said.
The ACHR recommended to the Government of Assam to fully extend humanitarian assistance including access to adequate shelter, food, utensils, baby food, clothes, healthcare, water facility, toilets, etc., to all the displaced persons; rehabilitate the displaced persons by providing adequate assistance such as housing assistance per family, food rations for six months; ensure that no relief camp is forcibly closed down and inmates are not forced to leave the relief camps; and provide security to the IDPs voluntarily willing to return to their villages with a clear programme of action, including deployment of security forces to ensure non-repetition of such heinous attacks.