Thursday, March 19, 2009

Government of Assam to Buy Land to Rehabilitate 12000 Families

Government of Assam has decided to buy around 4,000 bighas (around 650 hectares) of land across the state to rehabilitate 12,000 families who have been living in relief camps in Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar districts since becoming displaced in 1996 or 1998. Over 48,000 families were forced to flee their homes and take shelter in camps following a series of ethnic clashes between Bodo and Adivasi tribespeople in the two districts. The move became necessary after earlier attempts to rehouse the displaced were blocked by strong objections from local groups and the lack of suitable government land. This led to government plans to buy land across the state from private parties to resettle the IDPs.

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UN Rapporteur Criticises Indian Record on Displaced Groups

The UN’s Human Rights Council has criticised the government of India for denying justice to victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots, and reported that, with investigations in cases of communal violence delayed and partisan, “the miserable plight of those internally displaced from their homes continues.” The report by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Asma Jahangir, which follows a fact-finding mission to India in 2008, notes increasing ghettoisation and isolation of Muslims in certain areas of Gujarat.

In addition, the report refers to Kashmiri Pandits who had to flee the Kashmir Valley in the 1990s as a result of communal violence, and many of whom remain displaced. It also highlights the widespread violence in Orissa state in 2007 and 2008 which targeted Christians in Dalit and tribal communities and led to around 20,000 people moving to relief camps and more than 40,000 hiding in forests. The Special Rapporteur was profoundly alarmed at the humanitarian situation in Orissa’s relief camps where access to food, safe drinking water, medical care and adequate clothing were reportedly lacking.

For details please click on the link

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