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Local school safe haven for over 400 families in violence-torn Golaghat

Aug 23, 2014 07:11 AM IST India India
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Golaghat: After weeks of violence, the Golaghat area in Assam is battling an uneasy calm. A local school in the area has been house to over 400 families ever since the violence unleashed along the Assam-Nagaland border in an age-old border dispute. While women tend their infants on the floor with their belongings are stacked in a corner, men sit idle unable to tend their fields. And children wonder when they can go back to their school again.

This is the human face of the bitter battle over land between Assam and Nagaland. It has forced thousands to flee. 30-year-old Shamira Sapa and her 25 bighas of land are at the heart of the latest conflagration between tribals and Nagas. Nine people in her village were shot dead and hundreds of houses including hers burnt allegedly by Nagas.

"I have lost my land, my home was destroyed. I have six children. Where will I go now. They destroyed everything," cries Sapa.

Krishna Gol, whose son has been missing ever since the violence broke out says, "We are waiting when the crisis will end and we can go back to our homes. I want my son back.."

Situation is even worse as one heads to Chetia village, the epicenter of the violence. Charred houses line the roads, granaries are gutted, everything burnt to ashes. The only inhabitants are stray cattle and CRPF forces keeping a watch.

At Rajapukhi village few families have dared to return. "There is no government if here was a government this wouldn't happened. They wouldn't have destroyed our homes. I am scared to be back but where else can I go," says Jusi Dang, trying to start life afresh.

At the adjoining village across the border in Nagaland, families have been displaced too. They claim they too were attacked. "30 of us fled our homes and are now living with our relatives here. Some are hiding in the jungle," says a local resident.

While the families try to put together their lives once again, the biggest challenge for Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is not just to instill faith in the Assam Police but also the bring confidence to these affected people.


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