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700 doubtful citizens continue to live in relief camps
Published on 3 Sep. 2009 11:19 PM IST
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There has never been a situation where so many people have been identified at one particular place and where the authorities refuse to take action. Seven hundred undocumented people suspected as foreign nationals continue to stay in relief camps because the police refuse to take action. But till their citizenship is proven illegal, they have a right to better living conditions. Children were seen preparing a meagre lunch of just plain rice at Budhigaon relief camp. Samsuddin was trying to set up his tent. The tarpaulin given to the inmates is slowly giving away. A day after Eid in 2008, those people were huddled together in relief camps following ethnic clashes between indigenous Bodo tribals and Bengali Muslim settlers. A year later it’s the month of Ramzan again and the lives of these people continue to be uncertain because the government claims they are dubious citizens without proper documents, reported NDTV on its website, Thursday. But the appropriate agencies have failed to follow up on the government’s allegations. Close to a lakh of people were displaced in the riots. Most have returned home. However, the district administration identified seven hundred individuals who haven’t been able to provide any citizenship proof. The people continue to stay in what was a makeshift relief camp. But the inmates claim that they have some documents, for example, their name enlisted in the voter’s list, but they have no land documents, ration card or other necessary papers. One Mohammed Abdus said, “If we don’t have papers then let the government throw us anywhere but we cannot continue living under these conditions with our children.” The Deputy Commissioner’s office said that the matter has been notified to the police at least thrice in the last one year. They should have been produced before the Foreigner Tribunal Court and if proven an illegal foreigner then deported. But so far the Superintendent of Police of Darrang district has refused to take any action.

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