'Displaced Northeast tribes discriminated'

Guwahati | January 21 : A Delhi-based rights body on Friday accused New Delhi and the two state governments in the Northeast of denying proper relief and rehabilitation to some 50,000 Garo and Rabha tribal people displaced by ethnic conflicts along the Assam-Meghalaya border since January 1.
The assistance provided to these hapless people, said the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) was way below what New Delhi ensures for displaced Kashmiri Pandits and Sri Lankan Tamil refugees At the relief camps in Jammu and in Delhi, Kashmiri internally displaced persons are given Rs.1000 per head per month subject to a maximum of Rs.4000 per family per month plus dry ration.
Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India, on the other hand, are provided cash of Rs. 400 per head of family, Rs. 288 for Further, they each aged 12 years, Rs. 180 per first child (below 12 years) and Rs. 90 to each of additional children per month. They are also provided 400 grams per adult and 200 grams per child per day at the subsidized rate of 57 paisa per kilogram.
“But the displaced Rabhas and Garos are not being given any regular assistance. On 19 January 2011, one Monitha Rabha, a mother of three children died of starvation at Kahmari Primary School relief camp,” said ACHR director Suhas Chakma.
New Delhi, Chakma pointed out, was building 50,000 houses for Tamils displaced from Sri Lanka and sanctioned Rs 500 crore for this purpose. Under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction for Jammu and Kashmir, MHA undertook a massive housing programme for the Kashmiri Pandits. That included construction of 200 flats at Sheikpura in Budgam worth Rs.22.90 crore, construction of 5242 two-room tenements at Jammu worth Rs.345 crore, construction of 18 three-room flats at Mattan at an expenditure of Rs.1.08 crore.
“Besides, 100 one-room tenements and renovation work such as Yatri Niwas, rain shelters, fencing of shrine, etc., have been completed for Rs 7.30 crore at Kheer Bhavani. In Delhi, the Delhi Development Authority provided expandable flats to 234 Kashmiri IDP families at subsidized rates. But the Rabhas and Garos are being provided only three bundles of tin roof sheet and Rs 10,000 which is highly discriminatory. Even the Brus from Mizoram are being provided Rs 80,000 cash including housing assistance under Indira Awas Yajona,” Chakma pointed out.
If that were not enough, the Assam government has not yet sought any “rehabilitation grant” from MHA for those displaced by ethnic violence in the North Kachar Hills (now Dimaraji) district in 2009.